Best Opera Performances In DC

April 30, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

Opera lovers, 2012 is the year you’ve all been waiting for. The Washington D.C. area has an excellent lineup of opera performances that you don’t want to miss. Prices are affordable and many of the much-anticipated productions are award-winning with noteworthy casts. Mark the calendar, make the opera a regular event and encourage friends and family to experience the art that is opera.
onegin Best Opera Performances In DC


“Eugene Onegin”
Bel Cantanti Opera Company
Kreeger Auditorium at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Road
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 266-7546

Dates: May 5 at 7:30 p.m. and May 6 at 3 p.m.
Tickets: $15 for students, $40 for adults

Eugene Onegin is a three-act lyric opera based on a novel by Alexander Pushkin and performed in Russian. It captures a beautiful love story with twists and turns of rejection and regret. The Washington Post claims, “The future of opera as fun rather than spectacle or museum piece, lies with such groups as Bel Cantanti Opera.” Check the Bel Cantanti website, as the company posts operas once they are assigned dates. Also, subscribe to the email list for updates on events.

Related: Best Concert Halls And Theaters In Washington, D.C.

nabucco Best Opera Performances In DC


Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House
2700 F St NW
Washington, DC 20566
(202) 467-4600

Dates: April 28 through May 21
Tickets: $25–$300

This is the first time in almost 60 years that the “Nabucco” production has performed on the Opera House stage. Giuseppe Verdi’s “Nabucco” is the story of a legendary struggle between a royal family in ancient Babylon. You can read the entire synopsis online and view the talented cast. “Nabucco” will be performed in Italian. The Kennedy Center offers a special discount for tickets purchased in advance. Under the “Better Together” program, when you purchase a full-price ticket to “Nabucco,” you will receive 10% off the next Washington National Opera performace, “Werther.”

concertopera Best Opera Performances In DC


“Samson et Dalila”
Washington Concert Opera
Lisner Auditorium
1808 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 101
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 364-5826 

Dates: May 13 at 6 p.m.
Tickets: $45–$100

For those unfamiliar with concert operas, they are different from a traditional opera. In a concert opera there is no lavish set or intricate costumes, instead the operatic score entertains the audience. Appropriately, Washington Concert Opera’s slogan is, “It’s all about the music.” “Samson et Dalila” presents the perfect opportunity to see such a unique performance. Camille Saint-Saens brings D.C. the romantic love affairs of Samson and his problematic counterpart, Dalila. Archives, equipped with reviews and quotes, are available at the Washington Concert Opera’s website.

vocalcolors Best Opera Performances In DC


“Vocal Colors”
Wolf Trap Opera Company
The Phillips Collection
1635 Trap Road
Vienna, VA 22182
(703) 255-1849

Dates: June 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20, $8 for Phillips Collection Members

The Wolf Trap Opera Company (WTOC) is top-tier and unique in that they select their opera after the roster has been chosen. This allows Wolf Trap to truly work with the individual performers and highlight their strengths. Vocal Colors is a soundtrack that incorporates visual art performed by the WTOC’s Filene’s Young Artists. This five-member cast will enchant your ears with symphonic delight. Wolf Trap’s Filene Young Artist company is comprised of selected singers who attended the best music schools in the country and are expertly trained.

annabolena Best Opera Performances In DC


“Anna Bolena”
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House
2700 F St NW
Washington, DC 20566
(202) 467-4600

Dates: September 15 through October 6
Tickets: $25–$300

Gaetano Donizetti retells the dramatic story of Anne Boleyn’s tragic life. Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky plays Anne Bolena and The New York Times said of her performance, “Radvanovsky sings with unflinching honesty and uncommon intensity.” This story keeps you on the edge of your seat, unveiling the dark truth behind a royal marriage that is both corrupt and unjust. With amazing vocals to back it, “Anna Bolena” will move all audiences.

Related: Best Live Music Venues In Washington, D.C.

Kelly Johnston is a freelance writer living in D.C. She is a soon-to-be University of Alabama graduate who hopes to have a successful career in fashion journalism. Her major is Apparel and Textiles with a Concentration in Fashion Retail and Merchandising and her minor is Journalism. Her work can be found at

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