Delaware’s Wilmington Concert Opera (WCO) has announced its 2022 season, titled “Everything Old is New Again”.
The season will feature live and virtual performances, including a continuation of the company’s virtual recital series, a new outdoor collaboration with the Concert Operetta Theater in Philadelphia and the world premiere of “Girondines”.
The virtual recital series kicks off in January with the presentation of tenor Joshua L. Mazur and pianist Brian Hargrove of “Passing By”, a recital based on the “Liturgy of the Hours”.
The series continues in February when soprano Elise Christian Jenkins and pianist Patrick Merrill perform “A Black Woman’s Voice,” featuring works selected by the artists for Black History Month.
Other musicians scheduled for the series include Darrell J. Jordan, Andrew Romanick, Michael King, Laurice Simmons Kennel, Gabriel Rebolla, Kirsten C. Kunkle, Kassandra Weleck and others. The WCO will broadcast the series on its Facebook and YouTube page, with each recital featuring a live chat with the artists and company directors.
For the first time, the company has teamed up with an outside collaborator, the Concert Operetta Theater of Philadelphia, to present the “Rodgers and Hammerstein Gala”. The Gala will present works from the duo’s main operas. The founder of the Concert Operetta Theater, Daniel Pantano, will also narrate and perform as a baritone soloist. Other soloists include soprano Kirsten C. Kunkle and Marisa Robinson, mezzo-soprano Alyssa Lehman, tenor Rob Tucker, and baritones Kevin Patrick and Nicholas Provenzale. The concert also features pianist Timothy Crawford.
Date of performance: May 15, 2022, at Rockwood Park in Wilmington.
In October, the OMD will present the world premiere of “Girondines”, a chamber opera for ensemble in two acts for six women and composed for piano, harp and electronics. Composer Sarah Van Sciver created the libretto for WCO Co-Founder and Artistic Director Kirsten C. Kunkle. Van Scriver will conduct the music and perform as a pianist for the opera.
“Girondines” based on historical facts, focuses on the story of six real-life French revolutionaries who presumably knew each other, met in secret before the reign of terror, and supported each other during political upheaval. The six revolutionaries are women, and among them, three are guillotined and three live. Van Sciver and Kunkle strive to advance their own heritage as women, both in the history of the women featured in opera, and also to create visceral and important roles for women in opera.
Featured in Premier are Kirsten C. Kunkle as Charlotte Corday (Laura Heydt – cover), Ashley Becker as Olympe de Gouges (Laurice Simmons Kennel – cover), Marisa Robinson as Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze (Alyssa Brode – cover), Alyssa Lehman as Madame Roland (Allison Deady – cover), Raffaella lo Castro as Madame de Staël (Kaitlyn Beth Tierney – cover) and Tracy Sturgis as Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (Annie Gill – cover).
The performances are free and open to the public, and without a ticket.
Performance dates: October 21-23, 2022, at the Alliance Presbyterian Church in Wilmington.
Wilmington Concert Opera is a company run exclusively by women and minorities, founded on the principles of diversity, inclusiveness and accessibility.