Prototype Festival Leads Top 5 Operas to See This Weekend – North America

By David Salazar

With 2020 fully underway, opera companies are back in business. For this weekend’s recommendations, we feature a few repertory staples as well as some major new operas from the 21st century.

Il barbiere di Siviglia – Canadian Opera Company

Starting on Sunday, the Canadian Opera Company is back in business with conductor Speranza Scappucci leading Joan Font’s production of Rossini’s comic masterwork. If that wasn’t enough, the production will also feature Emily D’Angelo as Rosina with Santiago Ballerini as Almaviva and Vito Priante as Figaro. 

Madama Butterfly – Florida Grand Opera

In celebration of its 49th season, FGO is set to showcase Puccini’s famed masterwork with a cast that includes Joshua Guerrero and Sandra Lopez. The opening night performance is set for Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020.


This weekend is all about the Prototype Festival, which will be coming to an end, but will be in full swing. Instead of picking one opera, we recommend you try to go to as many of the ones on offer.

Audiences will get a chance to see “Ellen West,” the world premiere showcases of “Blood Moon,” “Magdalene,” “Rev. 23,” and “Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero.” Perhaps one of the most important festivals in the world as far as new works go, all the presentations showcase are premieres in one way or another, making them major events for audiences around NYC.

Glory Denied – Urban Arias, Washington D.C.   

Tom Cipullo’s opera is becoming a major staple of the 21st century repertory, providing a unique story about veterans and the suffering they endure during war. The work is ever-timely and harrowing, making it essential viewing. For only this weekend, audiences will get a chance to see the opera on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

Silent Night – Utah Opera 

Few 21st century operas have gotten the kind of praise and development as Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Award-winning “Silent Night.” With each passing production, it seems that this opera is destined to become a major part of the standard repertory, which would be of vital importance toward opera’s future and development. So recommending this opera performance is not only a matter of audience fulfillment, but operatic duty. The run kicks on Jan. 18, 2020.