Opera Philadelphia has revealed the lineup for its 2019–2020 season, beginning with its Festival O19 Celebration—the third annual edition of its city-encompassing series.
This year’s festival will open with the world premiere of composer Philip Venables and librettist Ted Huffman’s Denis & Katya, running September 18–29 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. Co-commissioned by the Pennsylvania company, Music Theatre Wales, and Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier, the headlines-to-stage opera tells the story of 15-year-old runaways Denis Muravyov and Katya Vlasova, who live-streamed their final hours in a three-day standoff with Russian Special Forces. Huffman also directs the staging, which will feature Theo Hoffman and Siena Licht Miller.
Also in the festival are the company premieres of Handel’s Semele (September 19–28 at the Perelman Theater) and Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges (September 20–29 at the Academy of Music). James Darrah crafts a new treatment of the former with the Chromatic creative team, with Amanda Forsythe, Daniela Mack, Alex Shrader, Tim Mead, Alex Rosen, and Sarah Shafer singing under the baton of Gary Thor Wedow.
The comedic The Love for Three Oranges heads to Philadelphia in a production from Alessandro Talevi; Zachary Altman, Wendy Bryn Harmer, Scott Conner, Barry Banks, Tiffany Townsend, and Katherine Pracht, and Kendra Broom will star.
Rounding out the Festival season is the world premiere of Joseph Keckler’s Let Me Die, running September 21–28 at FringeArts. The artist performs the piece himself with piano accompaniment, weaving together iconic operatic death scenes with original storytelling.
Heading into 2020, Opera Philadelphia with offer two comparatively recognizable titles: a concert presentation of Verdi’s Requiem (January 31 and February 2, 2020) and a Huffman-helmed Madame Butterfly (April 24–May 3), both at the Academy of Music.