Four New American Operas Premiere in Philadelphia This Month

From September 14-25, Opera Philadelphia will present “an immersion in new American opera.” There will be world premiere performances of three new American operas in various locations in Philadelphia: Elizabeth Cree by 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell at the Perelman Theater; We Shall Not Be Moved by composer Daniel Bernard Roumain and librettist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, directed by Bill T. Jones at The Wilma Theater; and The Wake World, featuring music and libretto by Opera Philadelphia Composer in Residence David Hertzberg, at The Barnes Foundation. Plus, War Stories, a site-specific double-bill consisting of Claudio Monteverdi’s 1624 Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda paired with composer Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch’s response to Monteverdi, I Have No Stories To Tell You, will receive its Philadelphia premiere at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

In addition to the four contemporary American works, Opera Philadelphia is also presenting a solo recital and master class by American-Canadian soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as well as Komische Oper Berlin’s staging of Mozart’s 1791 The Magic Flute. All in all, “seven operatic happenings will be staged over the course of twelve days in six venues across the city.” According to Opera Philadelphia’s website, this first-ever opera marathon, which they’re calling “Festival O17,” is an “unprecedented civic experiment” that “transforms Philadelphia into an urban stage, where diverse audiences gather to share an experience and amplify human connectedness.”

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