Despite the hurdles raised by the coronavirus pandemic, audiences are hungry for meaningful experiences and performance organizations are finding clever ways to deliver. The City Lyric Opera is kicking off its fifth season this month with a virtual production of The Threepenny Opera. By assembling hybrid performances filmed both on stage and at home, the Weill-Brecht-Hauptmann classic is brought to life through advanced videography, socially distanced pods for performers, and opportunities for live interaction with online audiences. Directed by Attilio Rigotti and conducted by Whitney George, founder of the chamber ensemble The Curiosity Cabinet which is playing Weill’s orchestrations for the production, the cast includes two previous Lenya Competition contestants: 2016 Semi-Finalist Justin Austin as Macheath and 2017 Special Award Winner Philip Kalmanovitch as Mr. Peachum. Performances will be streamed online from October 29 through November 15.
As part of their revised season under social distancing regulations, Opera North will present a staged production of The Seven Deadly Sins next month at Leeds Playhouse starring mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta as Anna I, a role she has performed with finesse multiple times throughout the world. KWF President Kim H. Kowalke said Giunta’s performance as Anna I in the 2017 Toronto Symphony production was “the most riveting storytelling of the Sins that I’ve encountered.” The Opera North production also features Maestro James Holmes, recipient of the Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, and Gary Clarke as director, both returning from last year’s lauded Opera North production of Street Scene for which they served as conductor and choreographer, respectively. Performance dates are November 11, 14, 17, 19, and 21.