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Washington Concert Opera Announces 2018/2019 Season

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Washington Concert Opera (WCO) is excited to announce its 2018-2019 lineup, a season that celebrates strong women and the return of beloved opera stars. WCO kicks off the year with their second annual Opera Outside at Washington D.C.'s Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park on Oct 27th, followed by performances at Lisner Auditorium of Charles Gounod's Sapho on November 18th, 2018 and Gioachino Rossini's Zelmira on April 5th, 2019. Also, for the first time ever, WCO will co-present two very special performances of Frank Martin's Le vin herbé at The Barns at Wolf Trap on February 9th and 10th, 2019.

Washington Concert Opera's Artistic Director and Conductor, Antony Walker says, "Every opera we are presenting this season is a unique and special treat: from Gounod's gorgeous Sapho, a US premiere starring consummate singing actress and DC favorite, Kate Lindsey; to Rossini's stunning Zelmira, never before presented on the East Coast, with the incomparable Rossini specialist Lawrence Brownlee; to our exciting new third offering - Swiss composer Frank Martin's Le vin herbé - a rare 20th Century masterpiece featuring brilliant young singers; this will be an unmissable season for all lovers of exciting, superbly sung, and rarely heard operatic gems!"

Following in the footsteps of last year's inaugural Opera Outside event, WCO will stage another performance this year at Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park in Northwest Washington D.C. Though details of who will perform are still being finalized, the performance is free to the public and will take place at 11:00 am on October 27th, 2018.

On November 18th at The George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium at 6 pm, WCO will open its official season with Charles Gounod's Sapho, a tragic tale of love, deception and the high power of art. The WCO performance of Sapho will mark the first-ever professional premiere of the opera in the United States. Sapho centers around intense, competing love affairs developing within the context of the ancient Greek Olympics - while a political coup bubbles just beneath the surface. Internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey will return to the WCO stage in the title role while four acclaimed emerging artists (Addison Marlor as Phaon, Amina Edris as Glycère, Musa Ngqungwana as Pythéas, and Brian Vu as Alcée) will make their WCO debuts.

On April 5th at 7 pm, again at Lisner Auditorium, WCO wraps up their season with a performance of Gioachino Rossini's Zelmira. The last of Rossini's "Neapolitan Operas," Zelmira is largely considered to be among his greatest works. Embarking on a mission to save her father, King Polidoro, from a murderous usurper, the title character faces a series of aspersions directed against her and nearly loses her family and her life in the process. Lawrence Brownlee, one of the world's leading Bel Canto tenors, returns to WCO as Zelmira's husband Ilo. Celebrated Spanish mezzo-soprano Silvia Tro Santafe will make her company debut in the title role, while distinguished mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux joins the cast in the role of Emma.

WCO will also co-present with Wolf Trap Opera (WTO) a special two- performance run of Le vin herbé at The Barns at Wolf Trap, led by Maestro Antony Walker. The opera is a rare modern retelling of Tristan and Isolde in a chamber music setting, by Swiss composer Frank Martin. Tenor Ian Koziara and soprano Shannon Jennings sing the featured roles in performances on Saturday, February 9th at 7:30 pm and Sunday, February 10th, 2019 at 3 pm.

Kim Pensinger Witman, Wolf Trap's Vice President of Opera and Classical Programming remarks, "We are thrilled to join forces with our colleagues at Washington Concert Opera and to feature a cast of WTO alumni singers in this beautiful and rare chamber opera."

Single ticket and subscriptions for WCO's performances at Lisner Auditorium are available for purchase online (www.concertopera.org) and by phone at 202 364-5826. Single tickets range from $15 for students to $110. Tickets for performances at The Barns are available for purchase online (www.wolftrap.org) and by phone at 877 965-3872.

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