Video: Get A First Look At Opera Philadelphia's THE LISTENERS

The Listeners, by Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek, comes to Opera Philadelphia Sept. 25-29, 2024.

By: Feb. 13, 2024
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Preview Opera Philadelphia's upcoming American Premiere of The Listeners, the newest opera from the Philadelphia-born, Grammy-nominated composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek.

Their 2016 world premiere, Breaking the Waves, was a phenomenon that won the inaugural Best New Opera Award from the Music Critics Association of North America and has been performed around the world since its Philadelphia debut. Performed at the historic Academy of Music from Sept. 25-29, The Listeners is a thriller about social rejection, suburban loneliness, and the seductive power of cults and charismatic leaders in a divided nation.

Winter brings the company premiere of The Anonymous Lover, a 1780 opera by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799), who is widely regarded as the first Black classical composer known to history and was the subject of the spring 2023 film Chevalier. Soprano Symone Harcum makes her company debut as Léontine. Tenor Khanyiso Gwenxane, who impressed in the title role of 2022's Otello, returns in a role debut as her secret admirer, Valcour. The season closes in spring with a new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni directed by Alison Moritz, set to premiere this summer at Cincinnati Opera.

"In the 2024-2025 Season, Opera Philadelphia will continue to bring beloved classics, rare gems, and modern masterpieces to the Academy of Music stage, championing and advancing the art form for our community," said Corrado Rovaris, Opera Philadelphia's Jack Mulroney Music Director. "I am thrilled to begin the season with The Listeners by our former Composer in Residence Missy Mazzoli and her longtime collaborator Royce Vavrek. Their 2016 world premiere of Breaking the Waves was a seminal moment in the history of our company, and the Academy is the ideal home for the American Premiere of this grand new opera they have created."

"It is the realization of a personal dream to work at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia," said Missy Mazzoli. "I have a clear memory of walking by that building as a teenager and thinking, 'one day, my music will be performed here.' The Listeners was a fantastic project to debut with Norwegian National Opera in 2022 and I cannot wait to bring it to the U.S. with my hometown company, Opera Philadelphia."

Opera Philadelphia's 2024-2025 Season will not open with a fall Festival O as has been the company's tradition since 2017. Announcements about the future of Festival O will be shared in spring 2024.

Opera Philadelphia's 2024-2025 Season is brought to you by the Artistry Now Matching Fund and Barbara Augusta Teichert. Academy of Music productions are made possible with support from Judy and Peter Leone.

Subscriptions and season ticket packages are now on sale at, 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 Tuesday, June 25.