Initial casting for Washington National Opera’s 2019 WNO Gala has been announced. The event will take place on Saturday, May 18, 2019, and will celebrate local entrepreneur John J. Pohanka “for his outstanding contributions to the organization” over nearly 30 years on the Board of Trustees, according to the press release.
Evan Rogister will lead “the WNO Orchestra and an array of musical stars in his inaugural performance as WNO’s Principal Conductor.” Headlining the event are American soprano Christine Goerke and Washingtonian bass Soloman Howard. Goerke stepped in last minute to cover as Brünnhilde in WNO’s first ever Ring Cycle in 2016, and is set to perform the role later this season during the Metropolitan Opera’s Ring Cycle. Howard is a former Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist and recipient of the 2019 Marian Anderson Vocal Award. He most recently appeared in “Aida” with the Met and “Don Carlo” with the LA Opera.
The Gala is WNO’s largest fundraising event, and proceeds “play a crucial role in advancing WNO’s artistic, educational, and community engagement programs.” More stars to be featured in the Gala will be announced at a later date.