Opera Recap | Summer 2019

Opera Recap | Summer 2019
Iain Bell's Stonewall, photo by Sarah Shatz/Courtesy of New York City Opera

Summer 2019 was a season of operatic abundance, featuring world premieres alongside new productions of recent works, some of which can be seen again this season.

Here are some selected highlights.

World Premieres

David Lang | prisoner of the state
Premiered June 2019 
New York Philharmonic; Elkhanah Pulitzer, director

‘Prisoner’ is a dark, seething and engrossing work.... Mr. Lang fearlessly explores the dark implications of this story. — Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

Performances of prisoner of the state continue in 2020 with its European premiere in January with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre, the Bochumer Symphoniker in May and in June with Malmö Opera Orchestra

Discover more opera by David Lang

Iain Bell | Stonewall
Mark Campbell, librettist
Premiered June 2019
New York City Opera; Leonard Foglia, director 

Together, Bell and Campbell successfully tell the courageous story behind a community of voices that unite during the Stonewall’s uprising. With a masterful combination of modern classical music, that supports an efficient and effective libretto, one might consider this new work to be a game changer in the age of modern opera. — Jennifer Pyron, Operawire

Discover more opera by Iain Bell

Poul Ruders | The Thirteenth Child
Becky & David Starobin, librettists
Premiered July 2019
Santa Fe Opera; Darko Tresnjak, director

The operatic tapestry woven by the Starobins from the threads of the Grimms’ story unfurls in music that is by turns mesmerizing, wrenching, moving, and, in the opera’s final scene, uplifting. — Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts

Discover more opera by Poul Ruders

New Productions

Missy Mazzoli | Breaking the Waves
Royce Vavrek, librettist
August 2019
European Premiere, Edinburgh International Festival
Opera Ventures; Tom Morris, director

West Edge Opera; Mark Streshinsky, director

This new Scottish Opera production by Tom Morris – the work’s European premiere – confirms the view that Mazzoli and Vavrek struck operatic gold. — Ken Walton, The Scotsman

‘Breaking the Waves’ challenges an audience to open their hearts and minds to highly charged material... All of it is animated by the remarkable, shifting contours of the music. The orchestral writing is full of raw orchestral color, as if the characters’ nerve endings themselves could be heard… The vocal lines, from Bess’s amorous wonder to her mother’s warily centered lines to those haunting choral hymns, both capture and enlarge the story. — Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice

Discover more opera by Missy Mazzoli

Donnacha Dennehy | The Hunger (stage version)
August 2019
European Premiere
Crash Ensemble; Tom Creed, director

['The Hunger'] bears hearing and rehearing… It is powerful, and it makes a statement. — Anne Midgette, The Washington Post

On August 23rd, Nonesuch Records released Dennehy’s The Hunger in a new concert version created for the recording, featuring Alarm Will Sound, led by Alan Pierson, with soprano Katherine Manley and Iarla Ó Lionáird in the lead roles. In support of the CD release, Alarm Will Sound presents a mini-tour of the concert version in September at venues in Princeton, New York City, and Boston.

Discover more opera by Donnacha Dennehy

John Corigliano | The Ghosts of Versailles
William M. Hoffman, librettist
July 2019 
The Glimmerglass Festival; Jay Lesenger, director
Chautauqua Opera; Peter Kazaras, director

There’s a lot to keep up here as well, but remember that the goal is good music and a good time.  ‘Ghosts’ offers that in heavenly profusion. — Jospeh Dalton, The Times Union

The Ghosts of Versailles can be seen in its French premiere at Versailles’ own Royal Opera in December 2019 in a co-production with Opéra Royal/Château de Versailles Spectacles, and the Glimmerglass Festival.

For more information please contact Marcos Cuevas or Peggy Monastra


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