Wolf Trap Opera returns for in-person shows

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Wolf Trap Opera (Part 1)

Last summer, Wolf Trap invited quarantined singers to Virginia for virtual concerts.

This weekend, the Wolf Trap Opera officially returns for live in-person performances.

“This summer, not only do we get to come back to Wolf Trap with many of these same singers, but we also get to be together, we get to be outdoors, we get to have an audience, we get to collaborate with an orchestra, so it’s just an embarrassment of riches,” Vice President for Opera & Classic Programming Lee Anne Myslewski told WTOP.

The opera series kicks off with “The Anonymous Lover” on Friday, June 18.

“It’s this lovely story about a woman who has decided she’s not interested in getting back in the dating game,” Myslewski said. “Her best friend is like, ‘Yeah, you shouldn’t, people stink,’ but he is secretly in love with her and has been courting her as this anonymous lover. He’s been friend-zoned and he doesn’t have the guts to say how he really feels.”

It continues with “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” on July 2 and July 3.

“This is one of my favorites,” Myslewski said. “It is a very dark comedy, but there is something with the theme of being unjustly imprisoned and finally becoming free that resonates with everybody at this point. … Now, I wouldn’t recommend the vengeful streak … but there are some great themes and musical numbers you’ll sing long afterward.”

It continues with “Cinderella” and “Sāvitri” on July 16.

“There’s Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother, a stepdad who is kind of clueless, two stepsisters who have some of the most fun antics, and then our prince,” Myslewski said. “The second show, ‘Sāvitri’ … is about a woman who quietly advocates for what she needs. Death comes for her husband. … She’s able to sway death to keep her husband with her.”

Finally, you can enjoy “STARias: Opera’s Most Powerful Moments” on July 23, including Tamara Wilson, Michelle DeYoung, Paul Groves, Robert Watson, Ryan Speedo Green, Raymond Aceto, Christopher Allen and the National Symphony Orchestra.

“We’ve got a bunch of alumni coming back,” Myslewski said. “We’re focusing on these big, powerful musical moments from operas. … We’ve got a duet between Faust and the Devil. We’ve got the big scene where Tosca gets confronted by the Baron Scarpia. … All kinds of these big moments are going to happen in this sequential, intense opera recital.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Wolf Trap Opera (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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