Best Of 2022

Best Outdoor Opera

J'Nai Bridges as Carmen in the Cincinnati Opera's 2021 summer production

The Cincinnati Opera’s entire summer season was held outdoors in 2021 for the first time since 1971, when the company decamped from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden to Music Hall. The decision to move performances to Blue Ash’s Summit Park came in the wake of COVID-19 spikes at the end of 2020, said opera Artistic Director Evans Mirageas. In fact, the company had to cancel its entire 2020 centennial season and instead marked its 100th anniversary in 2021, a year late. The opera performed three classics on the Summit stage in July: Carmen, Tosca and The Barber of Seville. The company announced it will return to Music Hall (and SCPA) for 2022, with more fan favorites — Aida, La Bohème and The Pirates of Penzance — and two world premieres, Fierce and Castor & Patience. cincinnatiopera.org.