With a strong embracing of art in all its forms, it should come as no surprise that the Washington, D.C. area has a strong opera community. Each season, fans can find plenty of traditional and contemporary opera being performed throughout nation’s capital. Here are five local opera companies that you might want to check out.
Washington National Opera
2700 F St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20566
(202) 467-4600
www.kennedy-center.org

The Washington National Opera dates back more than 60 years. It put its mark on the international stage when opera superstar Plácido Domingo served as the Washington National Opera’s director from 1996 to 2011. After Domingo’s departure, administration of the Washington National Opera was taken over by the Kennedy Center. Its 2016-2017 season is a mix of the “beloved and unfamiliar,” opening with a recital by Award-wining soprano Janai Brugger and closing with a production of the classic “Madame Butterfly.”

Opera Lafayette
921 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 546-9332
www.operalafayette.org

Opera Lafayette is a young ensemble but its soul is enriched by “French 18th-century opera repertoire and its precursors, influences, and artistic legacy.” Ryan Brown is the founder, conductor, and artistic director of Opera Lafayette, and the force behind Opera Lafayette’s desire to make opera accessible to a wide audience. Opera Lafayette’s 2016-2017 season will include performances at major venues in D.C. and New York City.

Opera Camerata
1534 16th St., N.W., Suite 100
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 722 5335
www.operacamerata.org

Opera Camerata of Washington is a very unique opera company. It was founded in 1990 by a group of D.C. area opera aficionados with the goal of making opera “tangible, impactful and intimate through performances in small settings with professional singers and musicians.” It continues to host public and private performances in venues ranging from private homes and embassies to hotels and churches. Opera Camerata also produces opera education and entertainment in D.C. public schools.

Related: Best Theaters In Washington DC

Washington Concert Opera
2437 15th St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 364-5826
www.concertopera.org

A concert opera differs from traditional opera in that it is presented without elaborate scenery and all the performers, orchestra members and conductor appear on the stage together throughout the performance. Washington Concert Opera is one of the leading concert opera companies in the U.S. Holding its performances at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, Washington Concert Opera’s 2016-2017 season will include two performances: Massenet’s “Hérodiade” and Beethoven’s “Leonore.” It will also host a special 30th anniversary concert.

Wolf Trap Opera
1551 Trap Rd.
Vienna, VA 22182
(703) 255-1900
www.wolftrap.org

Wolf Trap Opera has an alumni list that is the who’s who of opera singers including mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves. Each year, a select group of emerging artists are selected to be part of Wolf Trap Opera’ Filene Young Artists program and perform as part of the company’s annual summer series. The series is held over a three-month period at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center and The Barn. This summer’s main production is Gassmann’s “L’Opera Seria,” a 1769 opera comedy about the opera.

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Based in Washington, D.C., Troy Petenbrink is a freelance writer, blogger and social media influencer. A member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association, he has written for Fodor’s, Travel Channel, and Miami Herald, among other outlets. http://www.examiner.com/wine-and-spirits-travel-3-in-washington-dc/troy-petenbrink