Kentucky Opera Announces 2023-24 All-English Season

The season will be performed at The Brown Theatre and Kentucky Opera Center.

By: Apr. 03, 2023
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

Kentucky Opera Announces 2023-24 All-English Season

Kentucky Opera announces its 23/24 season. All four operas will be sung in English, with performances in The Brown Theatre and the Opera Center. Appearing on the Kentucky Opera stage for the first time since 2010 is Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel. An opera filled with curiosity and adventure follows two young children in their quest to save themselves and the gingerbread children from the wicked witch. Kentucky Opera's Youth Chorus will be featured in this vivid, larger than life production.

Kentucky Opera continues its new holiday tradition following last season's The Gift of the Magi, with another performance in the Opera Center of All is Calm, The Christmas Truce of 1914. A lone soldier's brave action of stepping out of the trenches singing Stille Nacht, provides relief and a spontaneous truce on Christmas Eve amid World War I. This haunting and memorable story uses the diaries and letters from soldiers on the Western Front woven together with traditional carols, historical songs, and new music to tell this story of bravery and peace.

When your birthday only comes around every four years, it must be a celebration! 2024 is a leap year and the perfect time to set sail for Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance. Audiences will have five opportunities to see this swashbuckling adventure full of witty word play and memorable music.

Kentucky Opera extends its season at the Opera Center with As One. Currently the most-produced contemporary opera in the world, empathy and humor are at the forefront of this story of self-discovery. A baritone and a mezzo-soprano portray the sole transgender protagonist, Hannah, as she forges a path for herself while facing societal expectations.

"This season has something for everyone," says General Director/CEO Barbara Lynne Jamison. "Kentucky Opera has a history of blending new works with the classical canon. Producing an all-English season allows us to invite even more audiences in as we continue the work to break down the historical barriers of this artform. The stories we produce feature some of the finest emerging voices in the world. This will be a season that truly sparks discovery, joy, and connection among our community."

The Youth Opera Project returns with Dean Burry's The Hobbit. Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, this opera - performed by local artists from ages 8 to 18 - will be the focal point of Youth Opera Project's 10-month training program where students will learn the foundations of singing, acting, and stagecraft. The Hobbit will have two performances in June at the Opera Center.

Kentucky Opera's Youth Opera Project engages young performers in its 10-month after school program. This program for ages 8-18 immerses students in a professional theatre environment with supportive professional teaching artists. Youth Opera Project participants will be cast in chorus roles, solo roles, and be offered other performing opportunities on Kentucky Opera's mainstage and in the community throughout the season. This season features performance opportunities in Hansel and Gretel and The Hobbit. No experience required to audition. Auditions will be May 11 and 13, 2023.

Kentucky Opera commissioned civil rights songs from composer Jorell Williams, with lyrics by Paula McCraney. These pieces along with other civil rights songs, will be premiered in concert with local community, college, and church choirs. "Amplify Songs of Justice" on June 10, 2023. Additional pre-performance activities by community partners will be announced closer to this free admission event.

Season subscriptions are on sale now via the Kentucky Opera Box Office, with single show tickets going on sale in late July. Subscribers can get a 4-Show subscription to save up to twenty percent off single ticket prices. Seating for performances at The Brown Theatre are reserved, while performances at the Opera Center are general admission.

Additional events and performances will be announced throughout the season as Kentucky Opera works with community partners to produce meaningful and collaborative work for the varied and diverse communities of the Commonwealth.

Youth Chorus Auditions

Thursday, May 11
Saturday, May 13
Kentucky Opera Center for Cultural Health
Visit for details and to register

Amplify Songs of Justice

Saturday, June 10

Kentucky Opera Center for Cultural Health
Performance Times TBA

Hansel and Gretel

Music by Engelbert Humperdinck
Libretto by Adelheid Wette

Sung in English

The W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre

Friday, September 29 at 8pm
Sunday, October 1 at 2pm


All is Calm, The Christmas Truce of 1914

Written by Peter Rothstein
Vocal arrangements by Erick Licthe & Timothy C. Takach

Sung in English

Kentucky Opera Center for Cultural Health

Friday, December 15 at 8pm
Sunday, December 17 at 2pm

The Pirates of Penzance or, The Slave of Duty

Music by Arthur Sullivan
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert

Sung in English

The W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre

Friday, February 16 at 8pm
Sunday, February 18 at 2pm

As One

Music by Laura Kaminksy
Libretto by Mark Campbell & Kimberly Reed
Film by Kimberly Reed

Sung in English

Kentucky Opera Center for Cultural Health

Friday, April 12 at 8pm
Sunday, April 14 at 2pm

Youth Opera Project presents The Hobbit

Music & Libretto by Dean Burry
Based on The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Sung in English

Kentucky Opera Center for Cultural Health

Friday, June 7 at 7pm
Saturday, June 8 at 2pm

Kentucky Opera, under the current leadership of Barbara Lynne Jamison, sparks discovery, joy, and connection among the varied and diverse communities of our region through the shared experiences of opera - on and off stage. The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, supports Kentucky Opera with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.