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North Carolina Opera Announces 2021-22 Season


North Carolina Opera will present the world staged premiere of Moravec/Campbell's SANCTUARY ROAD.

North Carolina Opera Announces 2021-22 Season

North Carolina Opera's General Director, Eric Mitchko has announced the company's upcoming 2021-22 season. The season will open on November 14 with Beethoven's only opera FIDELIO, followed by two timeless classics, Puccini's LA BOHÈME (Jan. 28 & 30) and Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE (Apr. 8 & 10). Mitchko also announced that North Carolina Opera will present the world staged premiere of Moravec/Campbell's SANCTUARY ROAD (Mar. 4, 5, 6). This staged 'American historical oratorio' is based on the astonishing stories found in William Still's book The Underground Railroad Records, which documents the network of secret routes and safe houses used by African American enslaved persons to escape into free states and Canada.

Mitchko said "We are thrilled to announce our upcoming season and look forward welcoming back patrons, artists and staff to our theaters in downtown Raleigh. After the past year, I could not be more excited to see the quiet stages come to life with music once again. We are very pleased to be able to bring these outstanding performances to Raleigh and surrounding communities." In accordance with Gov. Roy Cooper's latest executive order, seating limitations in North Carolina have been lifted, opening the door for North Carolina Opera (NCO) to welcome back our members, friends and guests for the upcoming 2021 / 2022 season. NCO will follow all appropriate safety guidelines in place at the time of the performance date. Updates will be provided to patrons as they become available.

Subscription tickets to North Carolina Opera's 2021-22 season are on sale now. Tickets may be ordered online at or by calling (919) 792-3853. Single tickets to individual performances will go on sale July 6, 2021.

FIDELIO in concert

Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 2:00pm

Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts

Sung in German with English supertitles

FIDELIO is generously sponsored by Ross Lampe, Jr.


Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

Librettist: Joseph Sonnleithner

Premiere: 1814, Theater am Kärntnertor, Vienna, Austria

FIDELIO is Beethoven's only opera, based on a true story from the French Revolution about a woman who, disguised as a man, freed her husband from prison. The original version of the opera received its premiere in 1805 in Vienna, but thanks to Napoleonic invasion and French occupation, it attracted little notice at first. Beethoven took the opportunity to rewrite the piece - including several versions of the overture - and it was successful in its final version in 1814.

The inspired music, the vigor and excitement of the rescue scene, the great chorus, the beauty of the Act I quartet (that has the same feel of a slow movement from one of Beethoven's symphonies) won over the Viennese public and subsequent audiences. At the same time, the opera's message of hope, and of liberation from tyranny has made the piece resonate with audiences around the world even beyond its musical impact.

Arthur Fagen conducts the NCO Orchestra and Chorus. Alexandra LoBianco (previously seen here in Tosca and Siegfried) sings Leonore; Mark Delavan is the villain Pizarro, and Kenneth Kellogg is Rocco.

FIDELIO lasts approximately 2h30m, including one intermission.

Leonore (Fidelio) - Alexandra LoBianco

Pizarro - Mark Delavan

Rocco - Kenneth Kellogg

Don Fernando - Takaoki Onishi

Jacquino - Jason Karn

Conductor - Arthur Fagen


Friday, January 28, 2022 at 7:30pm Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 2:00pm

Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

LA BOHÈME is generously sponsored by E.T. Franklin, Jr.


Composer: Giacomo Puccini

Librettist: Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica

Premiere: 1896, Teatro Regio, Torino, Italy

The idea of "bohemian life" - that of young people in the city, living their lives, and freed from any constraints of tradition, family, religion (or money!) - has bewitched audiences from the beginning. LA BOHÈME is the opera that won Puccini's international reputation. His gifts of characterization, atmosphere, and dramatic pacing were ideally suited to this already-popular story of young love in Paris. At the premiere in 1896 the critics didn't care for it, but the voice of the public soon overwhelmed them. Whether it is the irresistible love of Mimì and Rodolfo, the good-natured quarrels of Marcello and Musetta, the witty repartee among the roommates, or the excitement of the Latin Quarter on Christmas Eve, every part of LA BOHÈME is a delight.

Presented in the Triangle for the time in eight years, Puccini's beloved LA BOHÈME is the story of young love and loss in Paris that has enchanted audiences around the world. Lucia Cesaroni makes her United States stage debut as Mimi, Scott Quinn (last heard here in Tosca) is Rodolfo, Jarrett Ott (The Pearl Fishers) is Marcello, Adam Lau (The Barber of Seville, Don Giovanni, Das Rheingold, Samson and Delilah) sings Colline. Debuting artists include Shannon Kessler Dooley as Musetta, Timothy Murray as Schaunard, and conductor Joseph Mechavich.

LA BOHÈME lasts approximately 2h15m, including one intermission.


Friday, March 4, 2022 at 7:30pm

Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 7:30pm

Sunday, March 6, 2022 at 7:30pm

Fletcher Opera Theater at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts

Sung in English with English supertitles

SANCTUARY ROAD is generously sponsored by Florence and James Peacock, and is also supported through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Composer: Paul Moravec

Librettist: Mark Campbell

Premiere: 2018, Carnegie Hall, New York

Harriet Tubman may be the best-known conductor of the Underground Railroad, but a new piece highlights another key figure: William Still, who helped nearly 800 enslaved African Americans escape to freedom in the years before the Civil War. Widely recognized for his efforts as an abolitionist, historian and conductor for the Underground Railroad, Still is the central figure of SANCTUARY ROAD, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec.

After the success of his opera The Shining, award winning composer Paul Moravec has once again collaborated with librettist Mark Campbell to create the second of his 'American historical oratorios'. SANCTUARY ROAD draws on the astonishing stories found in William Still's book The Underground Railroad Records, which documents the network of secret routes and safe houses used by African American slaves to escape into free states and Canada.

Of his process, Moravec says "Time is the medium of music and memory is the mediator. In its sublime, mysterious way, music remembers. Composing the music for this oratorio, I was guided by my intention to memorialize indelibly the spirit and events of this extraordinary chapter in American history. As William Still sings about the slaves he aided on their road to freedom, 'Their testimony will never be forgotten.'"

SANCTUARY ROAD lasts approximately 70m, and is performed without intermission.

William Henry Curry conducts and Dennis Whitehead Darling directs this new production; the cast features LaToya Lain, Taylor Raven, and Malcolm J. Merriweather.


Friday, April 8,2022 at 7:30pm Sunday April 10, 2022 at 2:00pm

Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts

Sung in German with English supertitles and English Dialogues

THE MAGIC FLUTE is presented by PNC, and is generously sponsored by C. Thomas Kunz.


Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Librettist: Emanuel Schikaneder

Premiere: 1791, Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden, Vienna

Mozart wrote THE MAGIC FLUTE for a popular theater in the suburbs, away from the hifalutin crowd of the regular opera theater in Vienna. In Amadeus, Peter Shaffer called it "a vaudeville" - something to entertain the audience. But Mozart's work is also many other things: a love story; a daring adventure; a mystery about making one's way in the world and what that all means. THE MAGIC FLUTE has some of opera's iconic characters, who sing some of the most memorable music ever written for the stage, from Papageno's earworm aria to the fiercely challenging solos of the Queen of the Night. THE MAGIC FLUTE is a Singspiel, which means it has passages of spoken dialogue between the musical numbers. We will sing the music in the original German, while speaking the dialogue in English translation.

THE MAGIC FLUTE lasts approximately 2h30m, including one intermission.

Joseph Dennis (Rigoletto) sings Tamino, Rainelle Krause is the Queen of the Night, Hugh Russell is Papageno, and Hidenori Inoue is Sarastro. Keitaro Harada (Carmen, Pagliacci) returns to conduct, and Joshua Borths makes his NCO debut as director.

North Carolina Opera (NCO) was formed in 2010 from the merger of the Opera Company of North Carolina and Capital Opera Raleigh. It is dedicated to presenting operatic performances at the highest level throughout the Triangle. We also have a robust education program that brings opera to schools across Wake County and surrounding counties. NCO brings international level artists to Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, and also engages the best in local Triangle talent. Information about NCO's programs is available at or by phone at (919) 792-3850. NCO is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on recommendations of the Raleigh Arts Commission.

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