UPDATED: Julian Prégardien, Ludwig Mittelhammer, Christina Landshamer, Kathryn Lewek Headline Cleveland Orchestra’s Mandel Opera & Humanities Festival

By David Salazar

The Cleveland Orchestra has announced its second annual Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Opera & Humanities Festival.

“Building on last season’s successful launch of the Mandel Opera & Humanities Festival, the 2024 edition will continue to bring together our community and several of Cleveland’s great cultural institutions for exploration, discussion, and reflection around the theme of ‘Power,’” said André Gremillet, President and CEO of The Cleveland Orchestra, in an official press statement issued by the company.

The keynote event, “An Evening with Kai Bird” opens the festival. Bird is joined by Michael E. Hill, EdD the President of Chautauqua Institution, who serves as moderator. Bass-baritone Dashon Burton, and violinist Jung-Min Amy Lee perform Sarasate’s “Fantasy on The Magic Flute” and John Adam’s “Batter My Heart” from “Doctor Atomic.”

Performance Date: May 15, 2024

The headlining production of “The Magic Flute” is conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. The opera stars Julian Prégardien, Ludwig Mittelhammer, Christina Landshamer, Kathryn Lewek, Tareq Nazmi, and Alexandria Shiner, among others.

“Opera has a unique capacity to draw upon a multidimensional view of our world and shared human experience, and this year’s performances of Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ conducted by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst will set the stage for exploring different facets of ‘Power’ through music, art, and lectures, among others. We are thankful for our wonderful partners and for the support of our generous donors, including the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, without whom this festival would not be possible,” added Gremillet.

Performance Dates: May 16 – 26, 2024

The “Magic Flute for Kids” is an enchanting one-hour performance hosted by Caldecott Medalist and New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Christopher Raschka. Through the use projections of Raschka’s illustrated book “The Magic Flute” and interspersed live musical highlights, the story of Mozart’s beloved opera will be presented to children 7 and older. Performances are held back-to-back at 10 am and 12 pm.

Performance Date: May 18, 2024

“Power Dynamics: Diverse Perspectives on Classical Music” brings radio host, commentator, and writer Terrance McKnight who leads a unique mix of conversation, reflection, and music through the lens of different “Magic Flute” protagonists such as Monostatos, the enslaved overseer of the wizard Sarastro’s temple, and the Queen of the Night, a revenge-seeking sovereign of the nocturnal realm.

Performance Date: May 19, 2024

Seven-time Grammy Award winner Terence Blanchard makes his Severance Music Center debut with “Absence,” an evening of music honoring his mentor, jazz icon Wayne Shorter. He is joined on stage by longtime collaborators the E-Collective and Turtle Island Quartet.

Performance Date: May 21, 2024

There will also be a presentation on “United in Song! A Free Community Choral Celebration.”

Performance Date: May 25, 2024

The festival also features performances by Conrad Tao and Leila Josefowiz. There will also be a special exhibition entitled “Africa and Byzantium & The Magic Flute” at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

*UPDATED: March 8, 2024.