The Cincinnati Opera announced today — the same day it opens its U.S.-premiere production of Another Brick in the Wall — the productions for its 2019 summer season.
One, according to Artistic Director Evans Mirageas, will be a world premiere of Blind Injustice, featuring music by Scott Davenport Richards and a libretto by David Cote and based on casework by the Ohio Innocence Project’s Mark Godsey. The libretto also draws on interviews with six people exonerated of crimes as a result of OIP efforts.
This is the third installment and the first commission from the Cincinnati Opera initiative CO Next: Diverse Voices. Collaborating on the work with the Opera and OIP is the Young Professionals Choral Collective. Stage direction and dramaturgy is by Robin Guarino. There will be four evening performances in 2019 — June 14, June 17, June 18 and June 19 — at a location still to be determined.
As stated in a press release, “The opera will bring to life the grace, perseverance, and forgiveness of these men and women using a small cast, a chorus composed of YPCC members, and a 12-piece orchestra. As part of the work’s presentation, the collaborators will offer education and engagement events to further tell the story of this important work.”
• The season begins with two performances — on June 13 and 15 at Music Hall — of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s enduring The Marriage of Figaro, sung in Italian with English subtitles. The libretto is by Lorenzo da Ponte. This will be a period production from Lyric Opera of Kansas City by Stephen Lawless. French conductor Marc Piollet will lead the production after conducting Cincinnati Opera’s 2014 production of Carmen. Soprano Susanna Phillips will be in the role of the Countess, soprano Janai Brugger will play Susanna and baritone Joseph Lattanzi sings the role of Count Almaviva.
• Cincinnati Opera’s third production of next summer is Charles Gounod’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet — there will be two Music Hall performances on June 27 and 29. With a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michael Carré, this will be sung in French with English subtitles. The glorious production is from the Minnesota Opera and set in Shakespeare’s time. Nicole Cabell will sing Juliet; Canadian tenor Frédéric Antoun Romeo. Spanish conductor Ramón Tebar will lead the orchestra; Matthew Ozawa will direct.
• Presented for the first time in almost 60 years, Cincinnati Opera will feature a new production of Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. The libretto is by Hugo von Hofmannsthal; it is sung in German with English subtitles. There will be four performances, sung in German, at Corbett Theater in the School for Creative and Performing Arts — on July 5, July 7, July 11 and July 13. Soprano Twyla Robinson sings the dual role of Ariadne/Prima Donna; tenor Kyle van Schoonhaven will have the role of Bacchus/Tenor, and mezzo-soprano Olivia Vote the Composer.
• And coming for performances on July 20, July 24, July 26 and July 28 next year is an American classic, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, with music by George Gershwin and a libretto by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin. This is only the second time for Cincinnati Opera to present it at Music Hall. With a history of both Broadway and opera productions, Porgy and Bess endures for such songs as “Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So.’” Soprano Talise Trevigne will make her company debut as Bess; bass Morris Robinson is Porgy; baritone Nmon Ford is Crown; Frederick Ballentine, Jr., is Sporting Life and Indra Thomas sings the role of Serena. David Charles Abell will conduct the orchestra. Francesca Zambella devised this production for the Glimmerglass Festival and Seattle Opera, which is also where the sets come from.
More information: cincinnatiopera.org