Washington National Opera Announces Revised 2020-21 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The Kennedy Center has announced a revised 2020-21 season for the Washington National Opera.

In a press release the WNO, led by Artistic Director Francesca Zambello and General Director Timothy O’Leary, announced plans for its season beginning fall 2020.

The new 2020-21 will include an innovative mix of virtual performances and small-scale live performances, culminating in May and July with two mainstage productions.

In the fall the Washington National Opera will explore new ways of bringing opera to its audiences in this changing and challenging landscape through the “Come, Hope Project,” the title of which is taken from Beethoven’s Fidelio aria, “Komm, Hoffnung (“Come, Hope”).”

In “Come, Hope,” the character of Leonore is summoning her own hope and, in that spirit, the WNO will embark on physical and digital initiatives, including a Pop-Up Opera Truck and a Virtual Reality experience. The Kennedy Center’s Opera House will visit all eight wards of Washington, D.C. in-person on the Pop-Up Opera Truck.

In the fall, the mobile stage will bring performances by the WNO’s Cafritz Young Artists across the city on demand.

Partnering with Felix & Paul Studios, an internationally acclaimed immersive entertainment studio based in Montreal, the WNO will explore Virtual Reality technology and other immersive digital formats to bring audiences the music of “Fidelio.” The digital sphere will also see bass-baritone Ryan McKinny and mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges visit monuments throughout D.C. to record “Monuments of Hope,” a short film connecting uplifting and thought-provoking messages to D.C. and its monuments through music.

From May 8 through 22, 2021, Puccini’s “La Bohème” will be performed with Principal Conductor Evan Rogister and Angel Blue in the title role. In July, Tony Award–winning composer Jeanine Tesori and NAACP Theatre Award–winning librettist Tazewell Thompson’s “Blue,” will make its long-awaited D.C. premiere. The work is scheduled from July 3 through 11, 2021.