Opera Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia/Dominic M. Mercier

In a new opera, We Shall Not Be Moved, five teens find shelter in a condemned house in West Philadelphia, inhabited by ghosts recalling five children killed in 1985 when police bombed the headquarters of the black liberation group, MOVE. WRTI’s Susan Lewis spoke with the composer, whose work explores issues of racial and social injustice today. The opera is part of Opera Philadelphia's O17 Festival.

We Shall Not Be Moved is a new opera that takes its name from both the old spiritual-turned-civil-rights anthem and the Philadelphia black liberation group, MOVE. That group might be best-remembered for a 1985 tragedy: A police helicopter bombed the MOVE house, and the resulting fire killed 11 people and destroyed 62 homes in the neighborhood.

The opera, presented by Opera Philadelphia with the Apollo Theater, had its world premiere Sept. 16. It revisits that house and its ghosts, while remaining centered on stories about young people in Philadelphia today.

Credit: Opera Philadelphia

WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston considers a question of operatic proportion, with notable librettist Mark Campbell.

Opera Philadelphia's production of Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD tells the compelling story of a legendary jazz icon in a way that's meant to broaden and diversify opera’s audience. The role of saxophonist Charlie Parker was composed by Daniel Schnyder with tenor Lawrence Brownlee in mind.

This Sunday at 1 pm, it’s a memorable re-broadcast from 2014 of the fast-paced, one-act opera Salome. Among the most important musical works of the 20th century, it stands out for its revolutionary use of a large-scale orchestra and virtuosic singers, as much as for its graphic depiction of this deeply psychological tale. It's performed in a historic, joint production by the Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia.

Stephanie Blythe: Now This Is a Death Scene

Feb 13, 2017

Rossini’s Tancredi is seldom heard, so opera audiences may only be curious. But the singers can’t wait, and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns tells why. Stephanie Blythe sings the title role in Opera Philadelphia's production of Tancredi on Feb. 15, 17, and 19.

Opera Philadelphia and the Apollo Theater present Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, composed by Daniel Schnyder with a libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly, in a New York premiere marking the first time opera is performed on the Apollo Theater stage, and the first time Opera Philadelphia produces in New York City. Listen on WRTI, Saturday, November 19th at 1 pm.

This Saturday and Sunday, November 19th and 20th, is a Philadelphia weekend like no other on WRTI. Before Thanksgiving is upon us, we’re giving thanks for some of the great Philadelphia ensembles, instrumentalists, singers, and composers all weekend long!

Bravissimo for Opera Day on WRTI!

Nov 7, 2016

Opera Day is over...we hope you enjoyed it! If you'd like to support opera on WRTI there's still time to make a difference. Donate online or call 1-866-809-9784. Thank you!

Missy Mazzoli’s Breakthrough in BREAKING THE WAVES

Sep 26, 2016

Opera Philadelphia’s latest new opera Breaking the Waves turned into one of the company’s big successes. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns considers how this story of a Scottish woman whose marital devotion takes her to a sordid end could be something to sing about.

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