Elaine Alvarez & Wendy Bryn Harmer Lead Chautauqua Opera’s 2020 Season

By Nicole Kuchta

Chautauqua Opera has announced its 2020 season, which will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment with three main stage operas.

“I’m thrilled that our 2020 season will feature such a unique trio of operas, each of which revolves around a powerful female figure who is fighting to forge her own path and have her voice heard,” General and Artistic Director Steven Osgood shared in the press release. “We look forward to celebrating the rich history of suffrage that flourished in Western New York, as well as the women throughout history and across our current world who fought and continue to fight for women’s rights.”

The season will kick off with Sankaram and Yankowitz’s chamber opera “Thumbprint,” inspired by the experiences of Pakistani women’s rights advocate Mukhtar Mai. Omar Ben Seadia will direct, and Kristin Roach will conduct.

Performance Dates: July 3 – 31, 2020

Puccini’s “Tosca” will follow, directed by Sarah Ina Meyers. Cuban-American soprano Elaine Alvarez will be featured in the title role, and she will be joined by Chauncey Packer as Cavaradossi and Alan Held as Scarpia. Steven Osgood will conduct.

Performance Dates: July 10 – 30, 2020

Keturah Stickann will direct Thomson and Stein’s “The Mother of Us All,” a “joyfully surrealist homage” to Susan B. Anthony, “one of the foremothers of our country and the suffrage movement in America.” Wendy Bryn Harmer will star in the title role, alongside Chauncey Packer as Jo the Loiterer and Alan Held as Daniel Webster. Steven Osgood will conduct.

Performance Date: Aug. 1, 2020

The season will conclude with a Festival Weekend, which will showcase all three operas over three days.