2020-21 Big Tent Series
Music: Ruggero Leoncavallo
Libretto: Ruggero Leoncavallo
Premiere Date: May 21, 1892, Teatro Dal Verme, Milan
In this completely new fall production of Leoncavallo’s verismo classic, audiences enter a dystopian world where artists question their ability to perform, distance separates loved ones, and a play-within-a-play exposes a great betrayal.
Performed in Italian with English supertitles
Music: Viktor Ullmann
Libretto: Peter Kien
Premiere Date: December 16, 1975, De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam
Viktor Ullmann’s now critically acclaimed chamber opera The Kaiser of Atlantis was written in 1943 in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Before his death at Auschwitz, Ullmann gave the score to a colleague, and the opera remained unperformed until 1975.
Performed in German with English supertitles
Music: George Gershwin
Libretto: DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin
Premiere Date: Sept 30, 1935, Colonial Theatre, Boston
From the extraordinary writing duo of George and Ira Gershwin comes a Depression-era masterpiece rich in timeless tunes, including “Summertime,” “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” and “Bess, You Is My Woman Now.” Considered the great American opera, Porgy and Bess was inspired by Charleston’s Cabbage Row, a 1920s community bound by faith, tears, music, and laughter. In a tender love story, Porgy and Bess seek harmony in the face of addiction and social injustice.
Scenery produced by The Glimmerglass Festival; Costumes by The Glimmerglass Festival and Washington National Opera
Performed in English with English supertitles
Composer: Richard Strauss
Librettist: Hedwig Lachmann’s translation of Oscar Wilde’s drama, adapted by the composer
Premiere Date: Dec 9, 1905, Königliches Opernhaus, Dresden
A psychological thriller draped in lust, incest, power, and seduction, Salome is the twisted tale of a depraved tyrant, his bewitching stepdaughter, and her unholy infatuation with John the Baptist. First transported from Mark’s Gospel to the world’s stage by Oscar Wilde, the opera Salome scandalized the music world into the 1930s, and continues to captivate with its sublimely rich musical tapestries.
Performed in German with English supertitles
Composer: Gioachino Rossini
Librettist: Jacopo Ferretti
Premiere Date: Jan 25, 1817, Teatro Valle, Rome
Two despicable stepsisters, a narcissistic buffoon, and some high-speed vocal acrobatics spell hilarity for Rossini’s take on a beloved fairytale. In La Cenerentola, the good-hearted Cinderella casts off the helpless damsel-in-distress persona to hold the original Mean Girls at bay. She’s not afraid to pursue her beloved (who she thinks is the Prince’s valet), only she’s finding that nothing at the royal palace is what it seems to be.
A co-production of Houston Grand Opera, Welsh National Opera, Liceu Opera Barcelona, and Grand Théâtre de Genève
Performed in Italian with English supertitles
Music: Robert Xavier Rodríguez
Book: Hilary Blecher
Lyrics and monologues: Migdalia Cruz
Oct 5 – 13, 2019
“…an exciting, long overdue musical biography…raw, wonderfully dangerous theater.” —USA Today
A fantastical theater piece combining pantomime, puppetry, movement, and vocal performers, Frida enlists mariachi instruments to heat up this blend of tango, zarzuela, ragtime, 1930s jazz, and vaudeville. The story conjures a vivid portrait of the courageous revolutionary and magical realist Frida Kahlo as she struggles with her torrid marriage to Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.
Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Francesco Maria Piave
Apr 28 – May 5, 2019
A love story as old as time.
It has been told and retold over and over, in movies (Pretty Woman) and books (La Dame aux Camélias) and musicals (Moulin Rouge), but no one tells the story quite like Verdi – with a sumptuous setting and sweeping music. Violetta, a young and beautiful courtesan, falls in love with the equally young and beautiful Alfredo. Love, however, can be deadly to a woman in her position.
The Atlanta Opera mainstage season closes with this classic story of love and loss – a gorgeous interpretation of one of the most well-known and well-loved operas in the repertoire.
Music: Astor Piazzolla
Lyrics: Horacio Ferrer
Mar 28 – Apr 7, 2019
Back by popular demand!
The magic returns this season with an encore performance of Astor Piazzolla’s tango opera Maria de Buenos Aires. This sensual and seductive piece, the story of a tango-obsessed prostitute born on a day “when God was drunk,” will knock you over with its powerful storytelling and singing.
Once again, Le Maison Rouge tranforms into a sensual tango club, putting you in the middle of the story.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Mar 2 – 10, 2019
Everyone has regrets, or those “what if” moments. How different would life be had you chosen another path, the road not taken?
Tchaikovsky explores this theme of love lost, found, and the one that got away in the lush, romantic, and beautifully Russian opera Eugene Onegin. This new production takes its cues from the poet Robert Frost and the musical language of Pushkin’s novel, telling the story of a brash young man who makes bold statements and bolder mistakes, only to find that perhaps happiness was in front of him the whole time.
Music: Jake Heggie
Libretto: Terrence McNally
Based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean
Feb 2 – 10, 2019
He’s a convicted killer. She’s devoted her life to God. What could they possibly have to say to one another?
A true story that spawned a best-selling book and an Academy Award-winning movie, Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking tells of Sister Helen Prejean and her time as spiritual advisor to Joseph de Rocher, a murderer on death row. The most performed new American opera of the 21st Century, Dead Man Walking “makes the most concentrated impact of any piece of American music theater since West Side Story.” (The Guardian).
Based on a conception of Jerome Robbins
Book: Arthur Laurents
Music: Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim
Original production directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins
Nov 3 – 11, 2018
Two teenagers are drawn together across a crowded dance floor, believing love can conquer all, including differing backgrounds, languages, warring gangs, and miscommunication. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story has captivated audiences since its debut in 1957. Our version is in keeping with the original vision of Broadway legends Bernstein, Sondheim, and Robbins.
Music: Daniel Schnyder
Libretto: Bridgette A. Wimberly
Sept 27 – Oct 7, 2018
Acclaimed jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker loved music, drugs, and women. He lived fast and died young, leaving an incredible legacy of jazz music in his short time.
Yardbird tells a not-quite-true story of Parker composing his final masterpiece while in the thin veil between life and death, reflecting on the women who influenced him and made him the master musician he was.
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
June 9 – 17, 2018
In this dark and witty tale, revenge-hungry Sweeney Todd returns to London to settle a few scores. After befriending Mrs. Lovett, the owner of a local pie shop known to have the Worst Pies in London, Sweeney and the dutiful baker hatch a plan to save the pie shop and exact a bloody revenge.
Composer: Georges Bizet
Librettists: Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
April 28 – May 6, 2018
Carmen is a beautiful and free-spirited gypsy who makes men melt. When the naive Don José falls for her, he falls hard into a dangerous obsession, breaking up with his childhood sweetheart and abandoning the military. But the reckless Carmen cannot be tamed, and she grows weary of Don José once she meets the glamorous toreador, Escamillo. This messy love triangle won’t end well.
Music: Jake Heggie
Libretto: Gene Scheer
April 5 – 15, 2018
This moving two-act opera centers on Holocaust survivors visited by ghosts of their past. In Act I, Krystyna shares her gripping story of survival with a journalist. In Act II, Gad Beck is visited by his first true love, the poet Manfred Lewin, who perished in Auschwitz.
February 28 – March 4, 2018
Marie is a spirited and charming tomboy, adopted and raised by a French army regiment, and she has fallen in love with the handsome Tonio. When she receives new information about her identity, she must decide whether to follow her place in society, or follow her heart.
November 4 – 12, 2017
In this new production of the ancient ghost story, The Dutchman is doomed to wander the seas until he can find a faithful wife. A sailor’s daughter is doomed to an arranged marriage, but can’t shake her obsession with The Dutchman. Can true love change the course of their fates?
Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht
September 28 – October 6, 2017
The Seven Deadly Sins is an intimate cabaret experience that centers on the duality of the opera’s personae, Anna I and Anna II. She/They embark on a seven-city pursuit of the American dream. In turn, they uncover each of the seven deadly sins: pride, covetousness, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
October 8 – 16, 2016
Belmonte, with his sidekick Pedrillo, sets off to Turkey to rescue his betrothed Konstanze. The frothy caper plays out in hilarious, action-packed circumstances wherein our heroes and heroines must outwit their captors, particularly the fiendish Osmin, overseer of the Pasha’s harem. The Abduction from the Seraglio is a farcical, colorful romance, and was one of Mozart’s first successes as a composer.
November 5 – 13, 2016
Silent Night is the powerful, true story of the spontaneous Christmas truce between French, British and German soldiers during World War I. On Christmas Eve, the opposing forces put down their weapons, come together around a makeshift tree, and play soccer matches. The soldiers’ peaceful actions are reprimanded by their commanders, but cast a lasting light on the good of humanity in the face of war.
February 2 – 7, 2017
Astor Piazzolla’s tango opera tells the story of Maria, the young prostitute who “was born on the day God was drunk.” As Maria falls in love with tango, she is pulled into a surreal world that blurs religion, dance and rebirth. This site-specific opera will be performed at Le Maison Rouge, the sexy burlesque hall located in Paris on Ponce on the BeltLine. Composer Astor Piazzolla was hailed for his ability to enchant audiences with his tango music and introduce them to new worlds. This immersive production will pull you into the performance and leave you begging for more.
March 25 – April 2, 2017
In this production from director Chuck Hudson set in the golden era of Hollywood, Don Pasquale is an aging silent film star at the sunset of his career. Our protagonist sets off to find a wife and heir to his fortune. He gets hitched to the devious Norina, a widowed gold digger who conspires with Ernesto, the Don’s nephew. Supported by a chorus of servants dressed as Hollywood film stars, Don Pasquale is an uproarious evening of theater.
April 29 – May 7, 2017
Puccini’s epic tale centers around the Princess Turandot, who decapitates each suitor who fails to answer her riddles. Calaf falls in love with the ruthless Princess and heroically wins her ghastly game. Shockingly, Calaf proposes his own riddle to the Princess and puts his love and life in the hands of Turandot.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
May 19 – 20, 2017
The Discoveries series partners with New York-based On Site Opera to bring Mozart’s The Secret Gardener to life in a new site-specific co-production. Written by an 18-year-old Mozart, The Secret Gardener is a story of love, madness, and redemption that unfolds in the lush setting of a beautiful garden.
September 17-20, 2015
Based on 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller and composed by Schubert in 1827, Winter Journey is a story of unrequited love and a masterpiece of art song. Though the songs are a poetic, melancholic journey after the poet is rejected by his beloved, they also explore his connection to nature and the passing of the seasons. His journey is lonely but he finds himself united with the world around him and takes comfort in the natural order. Baritone David Adam Moore sings the title role of the poet who treks through the winter night. Solo pianist Earl Buys will accompany Moore.
Conant Performing Arts Center
October 3 – 11, 2015
Based on Henri Murger’s novel, Scènes de la vie de bohème, (Scenes from a bohemian life), Puccini’s La bohème introduces us to Mimi and Rodolfo, young lovers living in Paris in the 19th century. Their group of bohemians (poets, painters, philosphers) traverses the emotional landscapes of love, poverty, and ultimately, loss.
David T. Little
November 11 – 15, 2015
Based on interviews with five US military veterans, Soldier Songs follows the true journey of a soldier beyond what we see in television and movies. The evening of theater will be a highly charged experience with arresting projections, eye-catching visuals and a thunderous score. Composer David T. Little combines elements of theater, opera, rock-infused-concert music, and animation to explore the perceptions versus the realities of the Soldier, the exploration of loss and exploitation of innocence, and the difficulty of expressing the truth of war.
Rialto Center for the Arts
Gilbert & Sullivan
March 5 – 13, 2016
As Frederic enters the rank of full pirate at the end of his apprenticeship, he and his fellow pirates court the daughters of Major-General Stanley. This sets off a hilarious course of riotous events that pit Frederic against his pirate clan. The Pirates of Penzance is a rollicking show with serious operatic chops.
May 7 – 15, 2016
Charles Gonoud’s grand interpretation of Shakespeare’s story of young love comes to life on the Atlanta Opera stage for the first time in a decade. Seen through a decidedly French lens, the opera remains close to the timeless love story that takes us from masked ball to true love to the couple’s untimely death. The star-studded cast and visual treatments make this production stand out among a season full of gems.