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Opera thrives in Baltimore

In Sunday's Washington Post: Hon, they're singing in Bawlmerese: the Baltimore Opera may be gone, but opera is all over Baltimore, by Anne Midgette.

It wasn't my original plan, but this story, a part of the Style section's Baltimore package this weekend, serves as a coda to my two recent articles on American opera. Baltimore is an interesting case study of a city where the old opera company couldn't make it and where lots of new small groups are springing up, some doing new work.
(read more after the jump)

Here's a brief guide to some of Baltimore's opera companies. (Note: some of their websites have yet to be updated with information about the 2010-11 season.)
Baltimore Opera Theater: Founded in 2009 by a long-time impresario of touring opera, it offers traditional stagings of standard-repertory operas in the largest spaces it can afford, including the Hippodrome.
Lyric Opera of Baltimore: A fledgling company that aims to fill the void at the Lyric Opera House, and brought in a full-scale production of Carmen this spring from Opera New Jersey. (The company is associated with the Lyric Opera House, which is presenting a range of events, and will appear at Artscape.)
Opera Vivente: the oldest of the “new” companies; presents opera in English in the 200-seat Tudor-style theater of Emmanuel Episcopal Church.
American Opera Theater: A repertory company founded in 2002 that pushes the envelope of traditional opera with edgy productions of early music and contemporary works.
Baltimore Concert Opera: Offers established singers in concert performances, without sets, with piano accompaniment, in the elegant Garrett Jacobs Mansion.
Chesapeake Concert Opera (soon to be Chesapeake Chamber Opera): For its second season in 2010-11, the company will switch from a concert format to three semi-staged productions, including Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet.”
The Figaro Project: Founded this year with grants from Peabody and Johns Hopkins, the company presents Peabody alums in standard repertory. Next season it will offer the world premieres of three one-act operas.

By Anne Midgette  |  July 11, 2010; 2:00 AM ET
Categories:  national , opera  
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Thanks for the story about a topic close to our hearts, Anne! There will be two fully staged opera productions with orchestra at Peabody next season: Massenet's Manon directed by Roger Brunyate on Nov. 18-21 and a double bill of Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tiresias and Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges directed by Garnett Bruce on Mar. 16-19. Also on the calendar: Puccini Plus, a free concert staging of Gianni Schicchi and other selections on Oct. 25, and a chamber opera double bill, Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti and Hoiby's This is the Rill Speaking at Theatre Project on Feb. 24-27. Peabody's complete 2010-2011 concert season is posted at

Posted by: richseld | July 12, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

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