September 30, 2016
The Atlanta Opera's expanded 2016-17 season features new repertoire, a new Young Artist Program, smart collaborations, and must-see talents.
Under the leadership of General & Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun, this season will be the largest and most wide-ranging in the company’s history. TAO will stage four mainstage works, including a U.S. premiere production of 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Silent Night, and two site-specific Discoveries series productions, including a collaboration with New York’s On Site Opera. The season includes a total of 27 performances, including 16 on the mainstage, 8 in the Discoveries series, and the annual Opera with an Edge season preview, Holiday Concert, and new work creation event 24-Hour Opera.
This season marks the launch of The Atlanta Opera’s first young artist program, The Atlanta Opera Studio. Four singers, one pianist, and one stage director on the cusp of major careers will receive in-depth training in performance skills, foreign languages, and career development. In addition, they will participate in masterclasses with leading artists and perform alongside international talent in mainstage productions. They will also star in the Studio Tour, which reaches more than 10,000 students, and in a variety of community events throughout the metro-Atlanta area.
In his fourth season, Zvulun affirms his commitment to new and rediscovered works. On the mainstage, he will direct a U.S. premiere production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell. A co-production with the Wexford Festival Opera and the Glimmerglass Festival, it was awarded the Audience Choice Award and Best Opera Award at the Irish Times Theatre Awards in its 2014 Wexford premiere.
Successfully launched in 2014 under Zvulun, the Discoveries series – which emphasizes new works, new ideas, and fresh perspectives – returns for its third season with an expanded offering of nine performances. This year, the series brings opera to communities throughout the Atlanta area with site-specific productions of Maria de Buenos Aires by composer Astor Piazzolla, and Mozart’s The Secret Gardener.
The Spanish-language Maria de Buenos Aires follows the seductive title character, who falls in love with tango dancing in the heart of the Argentine capital. Composed and first presented in 1968, Maria de Buenos Aires makes for a vibrant evening of opera by combining sensual tango music with a surreal, adventurous story.
The Discoveries series partners with On Site Opera to bring Mozart’s The Secret Gardener to life in a new co-production tailored to its botanical setting. Now in its fifth season of producing immersive site-specific opera, On Site Opera has been praised by BBC News as "innovative" and The New York Times as a "vital" and "visionary company.”
The Discoveries series’ 2015 productions of contemporary operas Three Decembers by Jake Heggie and Soldier Songs by David T. Little were highlighted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Best of 2015 list. This season, The Atlanta Opera’s celebrated production of Soldier Songs will be restaged at San Diego Opera. The company will collaborate again with the Wexford Festival Opera as a co-commissioner of the world premiere of William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight, along with the Minnesota Opera, where the work will receive its premiere in March 2017.