An exciting 12 months await opera lovers as Washington National Opera released its 2014-15 season, which includes an acclaimed new-to-Washington staging of Rossini’s Cinderella.
Led by artistic director Francesca Zambello, the WNO seems to have something for everyone on its docket. The season includes a new telling of Puccini’s classic La bohème, a revival of Wagner’s epic The Flying Dutchman and an English-language production of Poulenc’s 20th-century drama Dialogues of the Carmelites.
“Our 2014-15 season is eclectic, inspiring, intellectually engaging, wildly funny, and something that cannot be seen in any other opera house in America,” Zambello says. “We are trying to bring our audiences the best mix of rising American singers, including those from our Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, with the biggest international stars. The result is a season that provides a compelling overview of opera for both passionate fans and newcomers alike.”
The schedule also includes the company premieres of Daniel Catán’s Spanish-language Florencia in the Amazon and Rachel Portman’s family opera, The Little Prince.
The opera season starts with a staging of Florencia in the Amazon from Sept. 20-28, the late Mexican-American composer’s mesmerizing opera inspired by the magical realism of Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. Two-time Grammy winning soprano Christine Goerke returns to the WNO in the title role and Carolyn Kuan, the music director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, will conduct in her WNO debut.
For the first time in seven year’s La bohème returns to the WNO Opera House, this time under the direction of acclaimed British director Jo Davies and the baton of WNO music director Philippe Auguin. The production will run Nov. 1-15.
Three European classics comprise the spring season beginning with the company premiere of Poulenc’s mid-20th century masterpiece Dialogues of the Carmelites, running Feb. 21 to March 10, 2015, featuring the WNO debuts of two rising sopranos, Layla Claire and Leah Crocetto; Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, March 7-21, with debuts by powerhouse American tenor Jay Hunter Morris, German soprano Christiane Libor, and Estonian bass Ain Anger; and Rossini’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola), May 9-21, with noted Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci in her company debut leading the WNO Orchestra.
In its continued effort to commission new works and expand the American repertory, the WNO will present its third year of the American Opera Initiative, which will include the world premiere of Penny by two alumni of the program.
As part of the American Opera Initiative, the WNO will present an evening featuring the world premieres of three 20-minute operas on Nov. 21 in the Terrace Theater, with each work showcasing a contemporary American theme. Conductor Anne Manson, composer Jake Heggie, and librettist Mark Campbell will serve as mentors for the evening.
Highlights of the 2014-15 season will be performed by the WNO Orchestra and special guests at a free preview concert at 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 14, in the Kennedy Center Opera House.
For tickets and information, call 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.