In 1945, a group of local artisans gathered to present classic opera with the finest voices in Wilmington at affordable prices. Today, OperaDelaware patrons are geographically and culturally as diverse as ever, stretching across the East Coast while at the same time reaching deeply into Greater Wilmington roots. Located in the heart of Wilmington, OperaDelaware is the 11th oldest professional opera company in the country.
This season, it presents mainstage performances listed below...
October 27 | 7:30 P.M. and October 29 | 2:00 P.M.
The Grand Opera House
Verdi’s masterful Rigoletto is an opera in three acts that premiered in Venice on March 11, 1851. It was based on a controversial Victor Hugo piece known as “Le Roi s’amuse” which translates to “The King enjoys himself.” The story of the jester Rigoletto, his beloved daughter Gilda, and the treacherous Duke of Mantua was nearly banned by censors upon its debut, but it went on to become one of Verdi’s most championed works. Pieces like “Caro nome,” “La donna é mobile,” and “Bella figlia dell’ amore” propelled opera forward during Verdi’s lifetime. The pieces challenged and inspired the audience of yesterday and today. The legendary storm music in the final act carries all of Verdi’s tumultuous passion as he creates one of opera’s most evocative scenes.
May 17 | 7:30 P.M. and May 19 | 2:00 P.M.
The Grand Opera House
Puccini’s iconic Turandot includes one of opera’s most beloved arias, “Nessun Dorma.” Whether you’ve enjoyed renditions by Pavarotti or Aretha Franklin, experiencing this timeless piece of music with live orchestra in May 2024 will be breathtaking. Turandot was one of Puccini’s boldest pieces, and he set his magical tale in the mysterious and fantastical land of Peking. From the stirring 30-second overture that sets the scene for the executioner’s axe, Turandot was Puccini at his most daring. Puccini passed before the completion of Turandot, one of the seminal operatic works of all time. Composers Franco Alfano and Luciano Berio completed the work in 1926 and 2002 respectively. It remains one of opera’s most compelling titles, driving audiences to the theater to experience show-stopping arias like “Nessun Dorma”, “In questa reggia”, and “Tanto amore segreto” with live orchestra.
Each mainstage performance will be accompanied by an opening night Microgala. What is a Microgala? GREAT QUESTION! Traditionally, opera galas are large-scale, expensive, formal events. To spend more time with you, OperaDelaware is rolling out a series of Microgalas — more intimate affairs catering to particular interests. OperaDelaware’s bi-annual Opening Night Microgala is a casino-themed fundraiser held in the lobby of The Baby Grand at The Grand Opera House. Attendees can try their luck at Blackjack and Poker, sip champagne, enjoy Italian bites, and get a souvenir photo on the Red Carpet Runway!
Purchase tickets at $150 to compete in a high stakes game of Poker with a $1000 grand prize!
Rigoletto Opening Night Microgala
October 27 from 5-7 P.M.
Turandot Opening Night Microgala
May 17 from 5-7 P.M.
Outside of the mainstage performances, OperaDelaware also hosts a variety of events in their own OperaDelaware Studios. From intimate artist curated recitals to cabaret performances, the OperaDelaware Studio Series puts you up –close –and personal with unbelievable talent and world-class storytellers. Don’t miss a moment of this season’s Studio Series featuring mezzo-soprano Megan Marino, baritone Brian James Myer, and one of opera’s most sought-after couples, soprano Michelle Johnson and baritone Brian Major. To learn more about the Studio Series, visit www.operade.org.