Cincinnati Opera Announces 2023 Summer Festival


Evans Mirageas, the Harry T. Wilks artistic director of the Cincinnati Opera, announced details of the company’s 2023 summer festival. The season runs from June to July 2023 and includes four productions: a romantic thriller, a touching and timely premiere, an effervescent comedy and an innovative new take on an operatic classic.

The 2023 Summer Festival includes Gaetano Donizettithe flight of the Scottish tragedy Lucia di Lammermoor, the world premiere of Aleksandra Vrebalov and Deborah BrevoortGioachino Rossini’s moving opera inspired by military families, The Knock, the hilarious and charming The Barber of Seville, and a bold new production by Giacomo Puccini‘s Madame Butterfly, designed by an all-Japanese and Japanese-American creative team. All will take place at the historic Cincinnati Music Hall and feature the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, an orchestral partner of the Cincinnati Opera since its founding in 1920. Performance dates for each production will be announced in January 2023.

“As Cincinnati Opera enters its vibrant second century, we have focused on presenting operas that both reward the dedicated fan and provide an inviting and engaging experience for the curious newcomer,” said Mirageas. “For the upcoming season, we’re proud to deliver beautiful productions of favorite works, while elevating new voices and perspectives.”

Mirageas continued, “Next summer, we will continue to develop our vision to expand the operatic repertoire by presenting the world premiere of The Knock, which sensitively expresses the pain and strength of military families.”

“Equally, we are honored to be lead producer on a thrilling new production of Madame Butterfly,” he said. “It’s a butterfly for our time, exploring one of the most beloved works in all of opera through the prism of modern fantasy. We’re thrilled to partner with our all-Japanese, Japanese-American creative team to tell Cio-Cio -San’s story in a powerful new way.”

Subscriptions to the 2023 Cincinnati Opera Summer Festival start at $106 and are available now. Tickets for individual performances go on sale April 10, 2023. Visit for more information.

Cincinnati Summer Opera Festival 2023

Lucia of Lammermoor

Music by Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano

June 2023
Springer Auditorium | Cincinnati Music Hall

Based on Mister Walter ScottThe novel of The Bride of Lammermoor, itself based on true events, this lyrical thriller set in the Scottish Highlands shows how thwarted desire can lead to deadly extremes. At Lammermoor Castle, Lucia and Edgardo are engaged in a secret affair. Despite their families’ age-old feud, they swear to give up everything for love. But Lucia’s disapproving brother strives to undo the lovers’ promise and marry Lucia into a more lucrative union. The deception becomes a curse, and once the hope of love is lost, Lucia and Edgardo make dire new vows, culminating in one of the opera’s bloodiest finales.

Leading the cast, Lucia is soprano Raven McMillon, and tenor Santiago Ballerini is her love, Edgardo. Baritone Anthony Clark Evans sings the role of Enrico, with bass Griffen Hogan Tracy as Raimondo, tenor Terrence Chin-Loy as Normanno, and tenor Sahel Salam as Arturo. Conductor Renato Balsadonna will lead the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, with chorus master Henri Venanzi leading the Cincinnati Opera Chorus. The production shifts the opera’s setting to the Victorian era and will feature direction by director Jose Maria Condemi, set and costume design by Philip Witcomb, lighting design by Thomas C. Haseand wig and makeup design by James Geier.

With the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Opera Chorus
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Production
Sung in Italian with translations provided

World premiere on stage

The shot

Music by Aleksandra Vrebalov
Booklet of Deborah Brevoort

June-July 2023
Studio Harry T Wilks | Cincinnati Music Hall

“An evocative and beautifully woven piece” (Opera News), The Knock tells the story of a group of military wives waiting to hear from their husbands who have been deployed to Iraq. While they wait, a young army officer makes the long journey to their gathering place. Named after the phrase used by service wives for death notification, The Knock is based on years of interviews with service wives, providing rare and sympathetic insight into the lives of military families. Americans. According to Opera News, “…The Knock manages to be many things at once, reverential and overwhelming, internal and lyrical, while concisely portraying the complicated existence of those left behind.”

Co-commissioned with The Glimmerglass Festival, The Knock was scheduled to premiere on stage at Glimmerglass but was shelved due to the pandemic. The company instead created an hour-long film about the work, which was released in November 2021 and is currently available online. Cincinnati Opera’s 2023 production will mark the world premiere of The Knock.

The cast includes performers who were part of The Knock, including baritone Armando Contreras as Lt. Roberto Gonzales, soprano Mary-Hollis Hundley as Joella “Jo” Jenner, and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Sanchez as the role of viola wife/commander. Mezzo-soprano Briana Hunter will sing the role of Aishah McNair. Alison Moritz directs the new Cincinnati Opera production, with scenic design by Jimmy Rotondo, costume design by Trevor Bowenlight design by Thomas C. Hase, and wig and makeup design by James Geier. On the podium is conductor Stephanie Rhodes Russell conducting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

A co-commission with The Glimmerglass Festival
Sung in English with projected titles

The Barber of Seville

Music by Gioachino Rossini
Booklet of Cesare Sterbini

July 2023
Springer Auditorium | Cincinnati Music Hall

The ultimate silliness ensues when Figaro, Seville’s most beloved barber, plays matchmaker for his former employer, Count Almaviva. The Count loves Rosina, but she is the ward of the devious Doctor Bartolo, who intends to marry her himself. To win Rosina’s heart, the Count enlists Figaro to concoct disguises, double relationships, and deceptions to trick old Bartolo and free Rosina. Rossini’s bubbly comedy reminds us that sometimes, on the path to true love, the last thing you should be is yourself.

Cincinnati Opera’s favorite baritone, Rodion Pogossov, returns as Figaro. Mezzo-soprano Emily Fons as Rosina, tenor Alasdair Kent as Count Almaviva and bass-baritone Nicholas Newton as Don Basilio make their company debuts. Christopher Mattaliano stages, with a scenic conception of Allen Moyercostume design by James Scott, lighting design by Thomas C. Haseand wig and makeup design by James Geier. Christopher Allen conducts the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, with chorus master Henri Venanzi conducting the Cincinnati Opera Chorus.

With the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Opera Chorus
Minnesota Opera Scenery; Washington National Opera Costumes
Sung in Italian with translations provided

Lady Butterfly

Music by Giacomo Puccini
Booklet of Luigi Ilica and Giuseppe Giacosa

July 2023
Springer Auditorium | Cincinnati Music Hall

To close the 2023 season, the Cincinnati Opera presents Puccini’s heartbreaking tragedy Madame Butterfly from a groundbreaking new perspective. As envisioned by the all-Japanese and Japanese-American creative team of Matthew Ozawa (training director), Kimie Nishikawa Design by dots (stage design), Maiko Matsushima (costume design) and Yuki Nakase-Link (lighting design), our new production reframes Puccini’s opera from a wholly inventive perspective, transporting Butterfly’s story into a modern realm where fantasy and reality intersect.

Enter the world of naval officer BF Pinkerton, who considers Japan his playground. He took a nearly thousand-year lease on a house there and will marry a young girl named Cio-Cio-San, known as Madame Butterfly. But is it just a fantasy? For Butterfly, wishes are not to be taken lightly, and as Pinkerton’s intentions are revealed, her dreams become a tragedy of boundless depths with no turning back.

Soprano Karah Son as Cio-Cio-San and tenor make their company debut Adam Smith like Pinkerton. Mezzo-soprano Nozomi Kato also makes her Cincinnati Opera debut as Suzuki and baritone Nmon Ford returns to sing the role of Sharpless. Conductor Keitaro Harada conducts the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, with Henri Venanzi conducting the Cincinnati Opera Chorus.

A co-production of Cincinnati Opera, Detroit Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, San Diego Opera and Utah Opera
With the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Opera Chorus
Sung in Italian with translations provided

Tickets and information

Subscriptions to the 2023 Cincinnati Opera Summer Festival start at $106 and are available now. Tickets for individual performances go on sale April 10, 2023. For more information, visit or call the Cincinnati Opera box office at 513-241-2742.

About the Cincinnati Opera

Cincinnati Opera’s mission is to enrich and connect our community through diverse opera experiences. Founded in 1920 and the nation’s second oldest opera company, the Cincinnati Opera presents a thrilling season of great opera each summer and captivating programs throughout the year. The company’s repertoire includes beloved classics and contemporary masterpieces brought to life by some of the world’s most dynamic performers and creative artists.

The Cincinnati Opera is supported by the generosity of tens of thousands of contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign. The Cincinnati Opera also receives general season support from the Ohio Arts Council, the Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, the Patricia A. Corbett Estate and Trust, and the Harry T. Wilks Family Foundation, as well as support of the general season and the project of many other generous people. , corporations and foundations. Support for The Knock is provided by the Mellon Foundation. The Knock is also supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; To learn more about the impact of National Endowment for the Arts grants on individuals and communities, visit The Cincinnati Opera is a proud member of OPERA America.

To learn more, visit


Comments are closed.