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Why We Love Opera Philadelphia

September 6, 2017 by Anne Berkowitz
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Opera Philadelphia brings the classical music genre to modern-day relevance, enticing and exciting new generations with the power of the art form. While a relatively young company, Opera Philadelphia has already captured the heart and soul of the Philadelphia community — not only with their powerful productions but also with their outreach programs, educational opportunities, and special events. Here are just a few of the reasons we love Opera Philadelphia. Be sure to check out their provocative season 2017-2018, starting with The Magic Flute and the world premiere of Elizabeth Cree!

1. They are the only company in Philly producing grand-scale opera.

Elizabeth Cree

No other theater or music company in Philadelphia produces opera with the same scope as Opera Philadelphia. While opera can be enjoyed in smaller settings, Opera Philadelphia continues to bring the genre to modern audiences in the way it was originally intended: with grand sets and costumes in large, gorgeous theaters. 3 of their annual productions are staged at the glorious Academy of Music, the oldest opera house still producing opera in the United States.

2. Their productions are innovative and engaging.

The Magic Flute

Opera Philadelphia produces both classical works and world premieres. Yet even if the piece they are producing is hundreds of years old, Opera Philadelphia aims to breathe new life into every production. For example, their upcoming production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (pictured above) was curated by the British theatre group 1927 and “evokes a meeting between 1920s silent movies and David Lynch.”

3. They produce 5 full-scale operas every season.

War Stories

Not only is Opera Philadelphia the only company of it’s kind in the City of Brotherly Love but they also produce at least 5 full-scale productions every year! This allows their season to be full of variety, risk, and possibility. In addition to their highly-anticipated productions of works like Carmen that are presented in proscenium, this year will also feature even more risky ventures, like a site-specific staging of War Stories at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

4. They are the brainchild of two titans of the Opera industry.

The Barnes Foundation, where The Wake World will be staged

Opera Philadelphia was founded by the heads of the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company and the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company. The two former rivals decided to merge their organizations in order to become a more powerful unit. The result is a company that is grounded in tradition while still aiming to be one of the leaders of new work in the genre.

5. They seek out work from artists rather than curating works themselves.

The creators of We Shall Not Be Moved

One of the greatest strengths of Opera Philadelphia is the faith they put in the artists with whom they work. They fit their artists into their vision rather than asking their artists to fit theirs. By doing so, the objectives of both parties are strengthened by the conviction of the other.

What show are you most excited about for in Opera Philadelphia’s current season? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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