Cincinnati Opera: What to See

Summertime is opera time in Cincinnati, but this year things will be a little different. This summer the country’s second oldest opera company will be performing old favorites in a new home. While Music Hall is undergoing renovation, this season will be staged at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.

As always, we will get four operas from the company this year, and they’ve put together an ambitious line-up, especially considering the fact that the company will be dealing with an unfamiliar stage. This year’s operas are:

Die Fledermaus

June 16 and 18, see this humorous story of mistaken identity, grand schemes, and glittering balls take the stage. The production is set in the 1930’s, borrowing set and costume inspiration from The Grand Budapest Hotel. Bubbly as champagne and seriously funny, it’s a great opera for those who aren’t looking to go home and drink their feelings.

Fellow Travelers

As part of the company’s continued dedication to premiering new, American operas, Fellow Travelers has shows from June 17 to July 10. It takes a new look at the McCarthy era through the eyes of a young man discovering his own sexual orientation in the midst of the political witch hunt.

Fidelio

Running July 7 and 9, this Beethoven opera brings a lot of traditional operatic elements to the mix, including cross dressing, doomful prisons, and all-conquering love. This production appears to take a modern approach to the theme of freedom fighters and wrongful imprisonment, making an excellent piece of music good food for thought as well.

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Tosca

Even if you’ve never been to an opera, you’ve probably heard of Tosca. It’s right up there with Carmen, contending for the title of “Most Shockingly Indecent Opera of its Time.” Although the story is fairly tame by HBO standards, it is still a spine-tingling epic of murder, lust, and a diva’s dramatics. This is a brand new period production, and it is the most likely of this season’s operas to appeal to steampunk sensibilities. It only has three shows (July 23, 27, 29), so it’s a good idea to get your tickets early.


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