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Opera Philadelphia's 2022-2023 Season Launches in September with the Return of Festival O

New productions of Rossini's Otello and Puccini's La bohème anchor Academy of  Music series alongside a winter concert of Carmina Burana 

Opera Philadelphia's 2022-2023 Season Launches in September  with the Return of Festival O

Debuting in 2017, Opera Philadelphia's annual, season-opening Festival O immediately garnered audience and critical acclaim, proving to be "a hotbed of operatic innovation" (New York Times) and "one of the most enjoyable additions to the fall calendar in years" (Washington Post). Following a two-year, pandemic-induced hiatus, the annual 12-day gathering for opera lovers returns in September with its fourth iteration, O22, featuring live opera performances at multiple venues in Philadelphia as well as a series of film screenings and a panel discussion that explores whether the industry's recent foray into cinematic production was a temporary blip or a game-changer for the art form.

Launching both O22 and the company's year-round subscription Academy Series is a new production of Rossini's rarely performed Otello starring tenors Lawrence Brownlee (Rodrigo), Khanyiso Gwenxane (Otello), and Alek Shrader (Iago), vying for the affections of mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack's Desdemona. Festival audiences will also experience two supernaturally atmospheric works: director Aria Umezawa leads a new production of Toshio Hosokawa's monodrama The Raven based on Edgar Allan Poe's 1845 poem, starring mezzo soprano Kristen Choi; and composer David T. Little's newest operatic and cinematic creation, Black Lodge, produced by Beth Morrison Projects, which takes viewers through a surreal psychological escape room without an escape, starring the dark glam opera band Timur and the Dime Museum. In a first for Festival O, Opera Philadelphia will screen a selection of feature-length and short-form opera films on multiple screens at the Philadelphia Film Center, the city's premiere hub for film, and is inviting creators to submit their film projects for consideration to be screened alongside classic opera films and recent cinematic works created for the Opera Philadelphia Channel. The festival will also spotlight singers trained at Philadelphia's acclaimed Academy of Vocal Arts, as star graduates including soprano Latonia Moore return to perform alongside current Resident Artists in two Saturday recitals at their historic and intimate concert hall.

The Opera Philadelphia Orchestra and Chorus heat up the winter as they unite on the Academy stage for concert performances of Orff's scorching Carmina Burana. The season closes with director Yuval Sharon's bold staging of Puccini's La bohème in reverse order-starting with Act IV and ending with Act I-extracting hope from tragedy, life from death, and love from loneliness.

With a full season on stage, the company will also continue to stream original programs on the Opera Philadelphia Channel, called "one of the most successful pandemic pivots among American opera presenters" (The New Yorker), including new digital commissions and the streaming premiere of Black Lodge. Additional programming will continue to be announced on an ongoing basis.

Subscriptions and Festival packages are now on sale at operaphila.org, or by calling 215.732.8400 (Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). Single tickets will go on sale on Monday, July 18.


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