Opera Philadelphia launches festival to widen reach

Source:AFP Published: 2015-10-21 19:53:01

Dress rehearsal of Puccini's La Boheme, co-produced by Opera Philadelphia and Les Arts de Valencia Photo: IC

Opera Philadelphia said Tuesday it will start opening its seasons with a city-wide festival of premieres and other happenings, hoping to win over a broader audience.

The opera company said it would hold an inaugural 12-day festival in September 2017, which will take place at six venues across Philadelphia and feature three world premieres.

The festival comes as opera and classical music institutions in much of the world are struggling to revitalize aging audiences.

Opera Philadelphia said its project was unique among US season openings, which are customarily glittery affairs targeting wealthy patrons.

David Devan, the company's general director, said that the festival was intended to be annual and voiced hope that the more fluid format would attract sought-after artists. "We have the opportunity to transform the city of Philadelphia into a giant stage for all that opera is and all that it can be," he said in a statement.

The inaugural festival, called O17, will include the world premiere of Elizabeth Cree, a chamber opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell based on Peter Ackroyd's murder mystery in Victorian London. Other premieres will include its school program We Shall Not Be Moved.

Posted in: Theater

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