Opera Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia is celebrating its 40th birthday by announcing the boldest change of its history. The company has just unveiled the creation of an annual season-opening opera festival - Festival O - premiering in September of 2017 with O17. It's modeled after two highly successful American festivals - Sundance in Park City, Utah and Spoleto in Charleston, SC. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports.

It's a novel, a film, an opera, and now it's the recently announced One Book, One Philadelphia selection for 2016.

The Free Library and the City of Philadelphia officially kicked off the yearly collective read, which will be the National Book Award fiction winner, Cold Mountain.

A mash-up of pop music and opera, ANDY: A Popera is a collaborative production of Opera Philadelphia and The Bearded Ladies (a cabaret company) developed over a two-year period. Its edginess and improvisation is a hallmark of cabaret, but it's also imbued with the spirit of opera.  

Ken Howard for Santa Fe Opera

Jennfier Higdon's opera Cold Mountain premiered on August 1st at the Santa Fe Opera to a world that was obviously ready for a masterwork. It was sold out before opening, an extra performance was added, and a major recording company committed to releasing it commercially. The masterwork didn't quite emerge, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns. But many good things did. 

In Opera Philadelphia's Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, composer Daniel Schnyder illuminates the life of the groundbreaking jazz saxophonist. But, as WRTI’s Kile Smith reports, while the music is all original, the composer couldn’t help slipping in just a taste of Parker for the opera’s lead tenor, Lawrence Brownlee.

What composer Daniel Schnyder did not want to write in his opera about the great Charlie Parker was warmed-over bebop. His opera, Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, is original through and through.

A new opera tells the compelling story of an American jazz icon in a way that broadens and diversifies opera’s audience. Opera Philadelphia is in the midst of preparing for the world premiere of Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD.  The role of Parker was composed by Daniel Schnyder with tenor Lawrence Brownlee in mind.


Eric Owens has come a long way from Philadelphia's Central High School. This once-fledging oboe player has evolved into a bass-baritone who has opera productions built around him. One is Opera Philadelphia's current Don Carlo, where he's singing the role of lonely, powerful King Philip, but took time to share trade secrets with The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns.

Candace diCarlo

The door closed behind Jennifer Higdon. She was in the office of her college conducting professor, Robert Spano, seeking advice about what to do. She had just heard back from the Curtis Institute of Music - they had accepted her application for graduate studies, but so had other music schools. She needed guidance.  "I'm not letting you out of here," Spano said, until she agreed to accept the spot from Curtis.

Dominic M. Mercier

Having premiered much new music, soprano Dawn Upshaw held a master class for singers and Opera Philadelphia's composers in residence…together! The better they understand each other, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns, the better listeners will understand them. 

What's the news about Opera Philadelphia’s just-announced 2015-2016 season? As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, the season is the company’s most far-reaching yet.

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