“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
Opera Season Highlights from Wise Music Classical
To celebrate World Opera Day on October 25, we invite you to explore Wise Music Classical’s opera highlights of the 2022-23 season. With premieres of daring new work and new arrangements of operas from across the centuries, our composers and their collaborators continue to innovate, shock, and delight audiences around the world.
Berlin Alexanderplatz | Vivan and Ketan Bhatti
Berlin Alexanderplatz is an interdisciplinary work combining opera, drama and dance, commissioned by the Theater Bielefeld. The orchestral instruments mimic electronic synthesizers and delay effects, and speech is broken down into different components, from operatic singing to naturalistic text.
Theater Bielefeld - World Premiere
The Listeners | Missy Mazzoli & Royce Vavrek
The Listeners examines the lengths to which Americans are willing to go in order to find a sense of place and purpose, and the way in which charismatic leaders can exploit these needs to their own ends. Based on an original story by Jordan Tannahill, the plot is inspired by an actual phenomenon called “the global hum,” a low-pitched sound that people around the world claim to hear.
Norwegian National Opera - World Premiere
September 24 to October 9, 2022
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk | Dmitri Shostakovich & Alexander Preys
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk is an infamous opera by Dmitri Shostakovich, banned by Stalin after its premiere and now considered a classic of the 20th Century. The libretto is jointly written by Alexander Preys and the composer, based on an engrossing novella by Nikolai Leskov.
September 29 to October 21, 2022
A Room of One’s Own | Outi Tarkianen & Francis Hüsers and Virginia Woolf
A Room of One's Own is based on Virginia Woolf’s classic 1928 essay of the same name, with a libretto by the German opera director, dramaturg, and librettist Francis Hüsers. The opera seeks to answer the question of why, from one century to another, women are cast as shadows across the stage in the arts and history.
October 14, 2022
Innocence | Kaija Saariaho & Sofi Oksanen
Innocence is a contemporary tragedy made radiant through its powerful music and the intermingling of words from different languages. Kaija Saariaho’s latest opera is the result of a meeting between this great composer and another Finnish artist, the novelist Sofi Oksanen, who is unrivalled in her ability to force today’s reality to confront the past.
October 21 to November 24, 2022
April 17 to May 4, 2023
El último sueño de Frida y Diego | Gabriela Lena Frank & Nilo Cruz
El último sueño de Frida y Diego is a fictional story, inspired by the lives of the two Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The opera is the first from composer Gabriela Lena Frank, with a libretto by longtime collaborator and Pulitzer-winning playwright Nilo Cruz.
October 29 to November 6, 2022 - World Premiere
June 13 to June 30, 2023
Buddha Passion | Tan Dun
This powerful piece represents the first Passion inspired by Buddhism rather than Christianity. Stirred by the city of Dunhuang and its ancient caves, Tan Dun has created a powerful score that captures the Buddha’s teachings of love, forgiveness, sacrifice, and salvation.
November 3, 2022, to January 13, 2023
London Philharmonic Orchestra - UK Premiere
January 22, 2023
X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X | Anthony Davis & Thulani Davis, story by Christopher Davis.
X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X sketches the galvanic life and career of minister and human rights activist Malcolm X, in a series of fast-moving vignettes. This vital American opera is characterized by its dark palette, shifting rhythmic patterns, and poignant lyricism, as well as its wide range of influences from classical, popular, and non-Western musics.
November 4 and 6, 2022
Blue | Jeanine Tesori & Tazewell Thompson
Reflective of a familiar American headline, Blue centers on the hopes and fears of a young black couple as they raise a son in Harlem. In this story of love and loss, we see the father, a police officer, and the mother supported by a loving community of fellow law enforcement, churchgoers and friends as they respond to the killing of their son. Blue was awarded the title of ‘Best New Opera’ by the Music Critics Association of North America in 2020.
Dutch National Opera - European Premiere
November 7 to 22, 2022
Washington National Opera - commissioned reduced orchestration
March 11 to March 25, 2023
English National Opera - UK Premiere
April 20 to May 4, 2023
Angel’s Bone | Du Yun & Royce Vavrek
Angel's Bone melds chamber music, theatre, punk rock, opera, cabaret, and electronics, exploring the dark effects and motivations behind modern-day slavery and the trafficking industry. The opera is the winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
Re:Naissance - Canadian Premiere
November 24 to 27, 2022
Staatstheater Augsburg - World Premiere of new expanded orchestration
April 2 to May 14, 2023
Song from the Uproar | Missy Mazzoli & Royce Vavrek
Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904) was an explorer, nomad, journalist, novelist, passionate romantic, Sufi, and one of the most unique and unusual women of her era. Song from the Uproar uses texts inspired by her writing to immerse the audience in the surreal landscapes of Isabelle's life; she describes the death of her family, the thrill of her arrival in Africa, her tentative joy at falling in love, the elation of self-discovery and the mystery of death.
November 27 and 28, 2022
In Our Daughter’s Eyes | Du Yun & Michael Joseph McQuilken
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 of whom his daughter would be proud. He imparts passages from the journal he keeps — a gift for his unborn daughter — as the moments of this journey unfold before him.
January 5 to 15, 2023
Marnie | Nico Muhly & Nicholas Wright
Set in late 1950s England, Winston Graham’s novel was immortalised by the Hitchcock movie, which, despite its changes to a number of features of the original, restored in Nico Muhly’s opera, is the prism through which we inevitably see the action.
Theater Freiburg - German Premiere
January 14 to Febuary 3, 2023
Oryx and Crake | Søren Nils Eichberg & Hannah Dübgen
Margaret Atwood's story of the only human survivor on Earth is told through flashbacks, through which the audience must deduce what drama lead to the apocalypse. This operatic adaptation combines intelligent, dark humor with melancholic, dystopian loneliness. Its futuristic yet archaic intensity underpins a passionate love triangle.
Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden - World Premiere
February 18 to April 21, 2023
Breaking the Waves | Missy Mazzoli & Royce Vavrek
Inspired by the Cannes-winning film by Lars Von Trier, this opera by Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek received the 2017 international Opera award for best creation. In Breaking the Waves, faith and love lead its heroine Bess into a sacrifice against the tide of common morality.
Bremerhaven - German Premiere
May 6 to May 25, 2023
Opéra Comique - French Premiere
May 28 to May 31, 2023
Everest | Joby Talbot & Gene Scheer
Based on a true story, Talbot’s opera has a contemporary setting, but an eternal theme: the limits of human courage, and the unbreakable power of nature.
June 23, 2023
Orfeo | Nico Muhly & Alessandro Striggio the Younger
Legendary lovers Orfeo and Euridice face death and separation in Nico Muhly’s new orchestration of Monteverdi’s seminal opera.
Santa Fe Opera - World Premiere
July 29 to August 24, 2023