Opera Orlando to Stream ‘Unknown’ as Part of ENCORE! Series

By David Salazar

Opera Orlando is now streaming “Unknown” on its online platform as part of its Opera Orlando ENCORE! Series.

The recording, created by UrbanArias during a live performance at Wolf Trap, features mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven, baritone Michael Mayes, and baritone Shuyulet Vargas. The video was directed by Kristine McIntyre.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Opera Orlando to continue our engagement with the local veteran community,” General Director Gabriel Preisser said in a press statement. “The presentation of ‘Unknown’ and our production of ‘All is Calm’ from our 2019-20 season are a meaningful way to honor those in the service, acknowledge their sacrifice, and tell their stories through music and on stage. I encourage everyone to take a moment of remembrance and reflectance and enjoy this powerful work.”

“Unknown,” which was written by composer Shawn Okpebholo with texts by poet Marcus Amaker, is a song cycle for three solo voices and chamber ensemble. “Unknown,” which had its premiere at Wolf Trap in October, was commissioned by UrbanArias, Opera Colorado Minnesota Opera, Opera Birmingham, and Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.

The cycle was created in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

Audiences will be able to stream “Unknown” between Nov. 11 through 18, 2021.