To mark World Opera Day on October 25, we invite you to explore new and existing opera from the catalogues of the Wise Music Group through the lens of what’s to come and what has recently passed. New opera by Du Yun, Kaija Saariaho, Donnacha Dennehy and John Corigliano complement existing work by Anthony Davis, Robert Rodriguez, Daniel Catan and Rufus Wainwright.
“We aspire to a culture which is both local and global. It must belong to and be inclusive of all those within its community. At the same time, it must embrace a diverse but connected world. Opera is an international language, and its stories reflect the values of freedom and tolerance.”
World Opera Day
Jeanine Tesori Blue (2016)
Michigan Opera Theatre September 11–12, 2021; Toledo Opera February 11–13, 2022; Pittsburgh Opera April 23–May 1, 2022; Seattle Opera February 26–March 12, 2022.
“…this unforgettable contemporary work asks us to create a world where the greatest concern for Black parents in America is if their children will grow up to be happy — not if their children will grow up at all.” — Michigan Opera Theatre
Du Yun A Cockroach's Tarantella (2008) Zolle (2005)
Lucerne Theater European premiere on October 27 through to November 18, 2021
Composed in 2004, Du Yun’s first chamber opera Zolle is a story on the afterlife. Soon after finishing she fabricated another piece that would serve as a life-before fable, which became A Cockroach's Tarantella. These two works can be performed as an evening-length diptych.
Matthew Aucoin Eurydice (2019)
The Metropolitan Opera November 23–December 16, 2021
The ancient Greek myth of Orpheus, who attempts to harness the power of music to rescue his beloved Eurydice from the underworld, has inspired composers since opera’s earliest days. Brilliant American composer Matthew Aucoin now carries that tradition into the 21st century with a captivating new take on the story—a product of the Met’s commissioning program.
Robert Rodriguez Frida (1991)
Michigan Opera Theatre February 26–27, 2022.
Frida is the story of renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, wife of the country’s great muralist Diego Rivera. Her tortured life unfolds in a flowing succession of scenes, acted and sung by three woman and three men in a variety of guises — masked or plain-faced and as two- or three-dimensional puppets; shadow puppets and projections are also involved.
Avner Dorman Die Kinder des Sultans (2019)
Dortmund, Germany world premiere March 6, 8–10 and 20, 21, 25.
A fantastic opera in nine scenes commissioned by Deutsch Oper am Rhein, Oper Bonn, and Theater Dortmund.
Anthony Davis X -- The Life and Times of Malcolm X (1986)
Michigan Opera May 14, 19 & 22, 2022.
Composed by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis and directed by Tony-nominee Robert O’Hara featuring a jazz ensemble incorporated into the orchestra and MOT 21-22 Artist-in-Residence Davóne Tines embodying the role of Malcolm X. Described by The Washington Post as “a first-class piece of work and a significant addition to the American operatic repertoire.”
Du Yun In Our Daughter's Eyes (2021)
LA Opera world premiere April 13, 2022.
Told through the perspective of a new father, In Our Daughter's Eyes shows the journey of the protagonist as he wrestles with truly becoming a man that his daughter would be proud of.
Bright Sheng Dream of the Red Chamber (2016)
San Francisco June 14–July 3, 2022.
“…the score snaps into focus in a series of tautly constructed scenes that reveal the canniness of Sheng’s compositional strategy — in particular, his skill in crafting an operatic language that is a hybrid of Chinese and Western traditions.” – SF Gate
Mark Adamo – three new productions and 60th birthday on August 1, 2022
Film premiere at Pittsburgh Festival Opera in 2022.
“It is a strange and wonderful thing“ – Financial Times
The first opera by Finnish composer Outi Tarkiainen based on Virginia Woolf’s classic essay of the same name will receive its world premiere at Theater Hagen on May 14, 2022.
A new concert performance with images by Robert Mapplethorpe. Stage Director Jorn Weisbrodt, conductor Scott Dunn leading Orchestra of the Teatro Real.
Kaija Saariaho Innocence (2018)
The world premiere took place at Festival International d'Art Lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence on July 3, 2021 and a staging of the opera is scheduled for 2022 at Finnish National Opera.
Kaija Saariaho Only The Sound Remains (2015)
Conductor Clement Mao-Takacs lead performances in Tokyo (June 6, 2021), then in Venice’s La Biennale di Venezia (September 18, 2021).
Philip Glass Circus Days and Nights (2020)
Malmo Opera May 29–June 13, 2021
In July and August 2021, Santa Fe Opera presented the world premiere of The Lord of Cries, a new opera composed by Corigliano to a libretto by Adamo. The Lord of Cries reveals intriguing intersections between two classics of Western literature — The Bacchae by Euripides and Dracula by Bram Stoker — to warn of the monster within us, not around us. Read more here.
Donnacha Dennehy The First Child (2021)
Irish National Opera October 2, 4, 6, 8 & 9, 2021
The First Child is the third in the collaborative trilogy of contemporary operas by Dennehy and Enda Walsh. Find out more here.
New Opera Recordings
Malcolm Arnold The Dancing Master (1952)
A new recording of a comic opera judged too risqué for 1950s audiences was released for the first time on the Resonus Classics label on September 25, 2020. Read more about bring this one-act opera to new audiences here.
LA Opera Digital Shorts from Gabriela Lena Frank, Missy Mazzoli and Du Yun.
Watch them here.