Bold. Brave. Brilliant.

Welcome to Arizona Opera's 2017/18 Season

Joseph Specter – October 9, 2017

President and General Director, Joseph SpecterRecently I attended Opera Philadelphia’s inspiring O17 festival. Executed at a very high level, O17 was a phenomenal demonstration of the renaissance of innovation and audience engagement that opera is experiencing today. Increasingly, US opera companies are taking advantage of a range of opportunities to deliver the art form in compelling and unexpected ways, from using state-of-the-art technology to enhance the storytelling and leveraging multiple performance venues in order to create a variety of audience experiences. Opera Philadelphia’s O17 Festival availed itself of all of these opportunities.

The use of projections filled the O17 production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute with imagination and vibrant animation. O17’s production of the site-specific double-bill, War Stories—featuring Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and I Have No Stories To Tell You, by composer Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch—was performed in a progressive evening at multiple locations in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This unique approach created a complex experience in the intimacy of the cloisters, as well as a completely different and grander experience in one of the museum’s grand stairways. Opera Philadelphia’s acclaimed production We Shall Not Be Moved made its World Premiere at O17, and is an excellent model for opera’s ability to tell stories that are old, in fresh new ways. This bold opera featured classical, jazz, and R&B elements, as well as spoken word, contemporary dance and the use of video projection to deliver a powerful theatrical experience.

Working in the field of opera today means being in the inspiration business, seeking trailblazing, new ways of producing our craft, while at the same time honoring the great tradition and beauty of our centuries-old art form. Arizona Opera is committed to innovation, creativity, and a willingness to create diverse and welcoming experiences for the communities we serve across Arizona.

We couldn’t be more excited about our future seasons, which focus on building programming that inspires, reaches new audiences, and thrills our current patrons. Over the coming seasons, Arizona Opera is also sharing our unrelenting passion for delivering innovative opera that is daring and more connected to our community than ever. We hope that this focus is evident in the work we are putting on stage this season, including Hercules vs Vampires, Bernstein’s American masterwork Candide, and the creative use of projection technology in our production of Das Rheingold.

Arizona Opera is embracing the entrepreneurial side of our art form, which has its roots in the recently concluded Arizona Bold initiative. Future seasons will build on what we learned from Bold, continuing to present beloved traditional operas, while integrating new work that challenges and excites, with a concentration on reaching diverse audiences throughout the state.

Our goal is to be fresh, inventive, and to forge an artistic vibrancy that resonates with both our current patrons and people who have never experienced opera before. We strive for this because we are passionate about uniting our art form with our community in ways that brings beauty and positive impact to people’s lives. We want to celebrate Arizona and build something unique for our community that joins people in powerful ways, and connects us to a dynamic and exciting conversation happening around the country and beyond.

We welcome everyone to the opera house—from opera enthusiasts, to new audiences experiencing the art form for the first time. We can’t wait to share this incredible journey with you.