Stephanie Blythe, Jamie Barton & Damien Geter Lead Chicago Opera Theater’s 2021-22 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The Chicago Opera Theater has announced its 2021-22 season which will see a return to in-person performances.

The season opens with a concert performance of Bizet’s “Carmen” with a COT twist. Jamie Barton will make her role debut opposite Stephanie Blythe in the tenor role of Don José as her tenor alter ego Blythely Oratonio. The performance will also star Michael Sumuel as Escamillo. Music Director Lidiya Yankovskaya conducts this concert performance.

Performance Dates: Sept. 16 & 18, 2021

Mark Adamo’s “Becoming Santa Claus” will be staged in a new production by Kyle Lang.  The production will star tenor Martin Bakari as Prince Claus, mezzo Nina Yoshida Nelsen as his mother Queen Sophine, and mezzo Leah Dexter as Ib, the Prince’s head elf. Music Director Lidiya Yankovskaya will conduct.

Performance Dates: Dec. 11- 19, 2021

“Quamino’s Map” will make its world premiere. The work by celebrated British composer Errollyn Wallen and librettist Deborah Brevoort follows a formerly enslaved man who finds himself in London society after fighting for the Crown in the American Revolution. The work will star tenor Curtis Bannister as the violinist Juba, soprano Flora Wall as Amelia Alumond, and bass Damien Geter as Quamino Dolly. Other cast members include Chicago-based artists Kimberly E. Jones, Joelle Lamarre, Cameo Hughes, and COT Young Artist Keanon Kyles. Conductor Jeri Lynne Johnson and stage director Kimille Howard will make COT debuts.

Performance Dates: April 23-May 1, 2022

“The Beekeeper” will be presented in March 2022. The work is composed by Wang Lu in collaboration with librettist Kelley Rourke and dramaturg Kate Pitt.

Performance Dates: March 2022