Renée Fleming, Angel Blue & Anna Caterina Antonacci Headline Washington National Opera’s 2020-21 Season

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Washington National Opera)

The Washington National Opera has announced its 2020–2021 season offering up some ambitious repertoire.

The season with WNO’s new production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio.” Robert Spano makes his WNO debut conducting a cast that includes Elza van den Heever, Brandon Jovanovich, Brian Mulligan, Ryan Speedo Green, Joshua Blue, and Eric Owens.

Performance Dates: Oct. 24–Nov. 9, 202o

John Adams and Alice Goodman’s celebrated 20th-century classic “Nixon in China” makes its WNO premiere. David Roberston makes his WNO debut with director Elkhanah Pulitzer helming the production. The cast features Ryan McKinny, Sean Panikkar, Joélle Harvey, So Young Park, Craig Colclough, and baritone Joo Won Kang.

Performance Dates: Oct. 31–Nov.14, 2020

Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” gets a new production by Artistic Director Francesca Zambello and Principal Conductor Evan Rogister. Evgeny Nikitin takes on the title role for the first time in North America alongside Kwangchul Youn, Štefan Margita, Elizabeth Bishop, Sergey Skorokhodov, and David Leigh.

Performance Dates: Feb. 20­–March 17, 2021

Verdi and Piave’s “Rigoletto” returns with Roberto Abbado leading the masterpiece with a cast made up almost entirely of company debuts. Christopher Maltman takes on the title role for the first time in North America with Pene Pati as the Duke of Mantua, Vuvu Mpofu as Gilda, Stanislav Trofimov as Sparafucile, and Alisa Kolosova as Maddalena.

Performance Dates: Feb. 21–March 20, 2021

Mozart and Da Ponte’s “Così Fan Tutte” gets a new production from Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor Renée Fleming who makes her directorial debut. Dalia Stasevska makes her WNO and American operatic debut conducting a cast that includes Laura Wilde, Anna Stéphany, Kang Wang, Andrey Zhilikhovsky, Anna Caterina Antonacci in her company debut, and Paulo Szot.

Performance Dates: Feb. 27–March 19, 2021

The season concludes with Puccini, Illica, and Giacosa’s “La Bohème” led by Evan Rogister. Produced with two casts, the work will feature Angel Blue in  her company debut and Stephen Costello. Adam Plachetka, Jacqueline Echols, Adrian Timpau, Alexandros Stavrakakis and Arthur Woodley round out this first cast.

In a separate cast Evan LeRoy Jonson, Janai Brugger, and Gihoon Kim star. A special DCYAP Performance of “La Bohème will take place on May 28, 2021, and features singers from the Young Artist program in principal roles.

Performance Dates: May 15–29, 2021