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Washington National Opera

‘Appomattox’ Revised: Two one-act operas squashed into one

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2015 – A palpable excitement crackled through the near-capacity audience at the Kennedy Center Opera House Saturday evening. On tap: The Washington National Opera’s “main event” was “the second world premiere” of “Appomattox,” a 2007 opera by American composer Philip Glass and librettist Christopher Hampton. We’re sure WNO, its loyal DC audience, ...

WNO’s appealing ‘Carmen’ gets 60th season off to a lively start

WASHINGTON, Sept.21, 2015 – The Washington National Opera kicked off its 60th season Saturday with a rousingly colorful and briskly-paced production of Georges Bizet’s enduringly popular “Carmen” at the Kennedy Center Opera House. The current WNO production is perhaps not the most innovative we’ve seen in recent years. That award goes to the summer 2014 ...

Washington National Opera to hold swanky costume sale in DC

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2015 — Just in time for Halloween planning, the Washington National Opera (WNO) has decided to throw open “its closet doors for a one-of-a-kind Costume Sale,” according to a press release issued today. According to the company, the event will be held “[O]n Saturday, October 3 and Sunday, October 4 from 10:00 ...

Performing Arts 2015-2016: The Washington National Opera

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2015 – After a brief summertime hiatus, Washington’s classical music scene swings back into action this month. We’ll be bringing you a series of short previews highlighting this season’s wealth of musical choices, starting today with the Washington National Opera (WNO), which kicks off its 2015-2016 bill of operatic fare Saturday with ...

‘Cinderella’ to invade Nationals Park May 16. And it’s free!

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2015 — Rossini’s comic opera “Cinderella” is in the on deck circle awaiting its turn in the batter’s box. That’s right, opera fans. It’s time for the Washington National Opera’s seventh annual free opera simulcast in HD on the big scoreboard at Washington Nationals Park. The date: Saturday, May 16, 2015, rain ...

WNO’s ‘Cinderella’: A longish evening of colorful family fun

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2015 – Rossini’s “Cinderella” (better known to Italian opera buffs as “La Cenerentola”) is, like Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “Magic Flute,” and Puccini’s “La Bohème” and Bizet’s “Carmen,” one of those operas that critics must involuntarily see time and again. Opera companies schedule these audience favorites and a few others with considerable ...

Eric Owens as the Flying Dutchman.

WNO’s “Flying Dutchman”: Outstanding singing, slow boat

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2015 – There’s a lot to love in the Washington National Opera’s current production of Richard Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” (“Der Fliegende Hollander”) at the Kennedy Center Opera House. Starring Metropolitan Opera star bass-baritone Eric Owens in the title role, the company’s current “Dutchman” is a visual reprise of its 2008 production ...

Incoming: WNO’s “American Ring” in 2016 – all of it

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2015 – We left one thing out of our previous article detailing the Washington National Opera’s upcoming 2015-2016 season: the Main Event. As WNO’s March 3 news release states: “WNO concludes its 60th anniversary season with the most ambitious undertaking in all of opera: Richard Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung. Three ...

The spiritual journey in Francis Poulenc’s ‘Dialogues of the Carmelites’

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2015 − My recent, rather lengthy review of WNO’s deeply moving production of Francis Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” endeavored to place this quite philosophical and theologically oriented work in context. This particular review was motivated in part by the distinct impression I got during last Monday’s performance  that many in the audience seemed genuinely puzzled ...

WNO’s moving new production of “Dialogues of the Carmelites”

WASHINGTON, February 26, 2015 – The most recent act of Polar Vortex 2015 hit DC and vicinity last Saturday with a vengeance. But at the Kennedy Center, the show went on as scheduled, in this case, the Washington National Opera’s new production of Francis Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” (“Dialogues des Carmélites”). Alas, by all ...

Eric Owens cancels February 28 WNO-KenCen jazz recital due to illness

WASHINGTON, February 27, 2015 — As a public service, we’re reproducing the following release, which we received Friday morning from the Washington National Opera and the Kennedy Center: “Washington National Opera (WNO) and Kennedy Center Jazz today announced the cancellation of An Evening of Jazz Standards with Eric Owens featuring the Music of Eckstine and ...

Rossini on deck: WNO’s ‘Cinderella in the Outfield’

WASHINGTON, January 22, 2015 – We’re all at the point during yet another gloomy Washington winter where we’re longing for a break, just like the those lucky Washington Nationals will get next month. That’s when the Nats will be heading for spring training in sunny Viera, Florida. Come to think of it, just as Washington’s ...

Washington National Opera’s ‘La Bohème’ is young at heart

WASHINGTON, November 4, 2014 – Something different was in the air at the Kennedy Center this past Saturday. Throngs of excited operagoers crowded the grand foyer in the vicinity of the Opera House, as a capacity crowd built for the opening performance of the Washington National Opera’s new production of Puccini’s “La Bohème.” A capacity ...

WNO’s sensational “Florencia in the Amazon” at the KenCen

WASHINGTON, September 22, 2014 – “Sometimes a new opera is a trial. This one is not.” That’s an actual audience comment this reviewer overheard during the intermission of “Florencia in the Amazon” (“Florencia en el Amazonas”), the nearly-new work the Washington National Opera chose to open its 2014-2015 season at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House ...

‘An American Soldier’: WNO’s harsh world premiere opera

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 — The Washington National Opera closed out its 2013-2014 season last weekend with two world premiere performances of Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo’s one-act opera “An American Soldier” at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. A bit like Nicholas Maw’s controversial full-length opera “Sophie’s Choice,” which WNO quite bravely performed here in 2006, ...

Paul Appleby and Joshua Hopkins delight in Terrace vocal recital

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2014 – Rising young opera stars Paul Appleby and Joshua Hopkins appeared in a special recital at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater this Sunday past, offering an eclectic vocal program ranging from Beethoven and Mozart to American composer Paul Bowles’ “Blue Mountain Ballads.”  The artists were expertly accompanied by pianist and conductor ...

Paul Appleby and Joshua Hopkins in Terrace vocal recital

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2014 – Rising young opera stars, tenor Paul Appleby and baritone Joshua Hopkins will be appearing at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater this Sunday, April 6, in a varied, eclectic vocal recital. Sunday’s program ranges from the music of Beethoven and Mozart to a set of “Blue Mountain Ballads” by Paul Bowles.  ...

WNO’s warm, witty “Elixir of Love” wraps up this weekend at KenCen

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2014 – If you’re a young guy, you’ll instantly recognize the situation. We’ve all been there at one time or another. You’re hopelessly in love with a girl who could care less, and nothing you can do or say will alter the situation. You’re desperate enough that you can’t help thinking something ...

WNO’s spectacular, epic “Moby-Dick” a smash hit in debut

WASHINGTON, February 25, 2014 – The Washington National Opera opened its much-anticipated production of Jake Heggie’s and Gene Scheer’s nearly new opera “Moby-Dick” this Saturday past with a huge splash—no pun intended. In its East Coast premiere, this 2010 opera is unquestionably chock full of everything opera audiences crave but often don’t get. It’s truly ...