A New ‘Valkyrie’ Dominates Top 5 Operas To See This Weekend in North America (7/19-21)

By David Salazar
(Credit: Seattle Opera / Jacob F. Lucas)

This weekend, we are recommending some of the best-known works of the repertory in a bevy of productions across the U.S. One repertory staple will be getting a new arrangement in a English. Here are our top five operas to see this week (in chronological order by company).

Cincinnati Opera – Porgy and Bess

On Saturday, Cincinnati Opera will open its production of “Porgy and Bess,” which features Morris Robinson, Talise Trevigne, Nmon Ford, Frederick Ballentine, Janai Brugger, Reginald Smith, Jr., and Indra Thomas, among many others.

Mill City Summer Opera – Così Fan Tutte

Last weekend, we recommended this very opera in its Santa Fe iteration. But those who want more Mozart will get a chance to check out a performance on Saturday before the production closes up the ensuing week. It stars Karin Wolverton, Sarah Larsen, Heather Johnson, Javier Abreu, Sidney Outlaw, and Andrew Wilkowski.

Pittsburgh Festival Opera – The Valkyrie

On Friday and Sunday, the Pittsburgh Festival Opera will present a rare performance of Wagner’s epic in English that is condensed by composer Jonathan Dove, lasting no more than three hours overall. While it might disappoint purists, it will offer up a unique experience of the famed opera. Moreover, it’s a rare opportunity to see a major Wagner work. You can’t pass those up.

Santa Fe Opera – Jenufa

Janacek’s great work opens on Saturday in a production that will star Laura Wilde in the title role. Patricia Racette plays Kostelnicka with Suzanne Mentzer, Will Liverman, Richard Trey Smagur, and Alexander Lewis rounding out the cast.

Wolf Trap Opera – Ariadne Auf Naxos

The Strauss masterwork gets a series of performances this weekend on Friday and Sunday in a new production that will include Alexandria Shiner as Ariadne and the Prima Donna. Ian Koziara will play the tenor and Bacchus while Alexandra Nowakowski will be Zerbinetta and Lindsay Kate Brown will be the composer.