Washington National Opera Premieres 'Grounded' by Jeanine Tesori

Washington National Opera Premieres 'Grounded' by Jeanine Tesori
Emily D’Angelo, Grounded

Jeanine Tesori and George Brant's opera Grounded receives its world premiere on October 28, 2023 with Washington National Opera at The Kennedy Center. The production runs from October 29 to November 13, directed by Michael Mayer and conducted by Daniela Candillari. Grounded is commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and developed with the Lincoln Center Theater New Works Program.

Adapted from Brant’s “thought-provoking” (Washington Post), “sharp-eyed” (Time Out New York), and “compelling and provocative” (San Francisco Chronicle) one-woman play, the opera tells the story of Jess, an accomplished F-16 fighter pilot. When an unexpected pregnancy grounds her, she’s reassigned to the “chair force” to control drones in Afghanistan from the comfort of a trailer in Las Vegas. But war “with all the benefits of home” isn’t clear-cut. As Jess tracks terrorists by day and rocks her daughter to sleep by night, the boundary between her worlds becomes dangerously permeable.

Mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo stars as the protagonist shaken into a downward spiral as the separation between career and home crumbles. In a first for opera stages, massive LED-screen technology will immerse audiences in the psychological and social implications of virtual warfare, suggesting that “distance” from war through technology is no distance at all. Read New York Times' article about the production.

Also featured as part of WNO's season is the return of Tesori's holiday family opera The Lion, The Unicorn and Me, with libretto by J. D. McClatchy based on the book by Jeanette Winterson. Performances take place December 8-10. 

Tesori's opera Blue with librettist Tazewell Thompson is back onstage November 10 and 12 in a new production with New Orleans Opera and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Michael Ellis Ingram with stage direction by Timothy Douglas. 

For more information, please contact your local Wise Music Promotion Team. See Contact Us.

Related News