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2011-12 Season

Experience the Magic of Opera at the Kennedy Center!

Great Prices and Payment Plans! Look Inside... • 202.295.2400 • 800.US.OPERA

General Director

Welcome to Washington National Opera’s 56th season. This carefully crafted season offers a dramatic and exhilarating look at life, love, and the abuses of power as immortalized by Puccini, Donizetti, Mozart, Verdi, and Massenet. With heart-stopping singing and lush scores, these are works that will make you fall in love with opera all over again. The season also includes the WNO debut of celebrated soprano Angela Gheorghiu in a Plácido Domingo Celebrity Series concert and the return of Deborah Voigt in a unique program of Broadway songs and standards. I hope you will join us for a season filled with excellence and excitement at Washington National Opera.


Philippe Auguin

WNO’s New Music Director “From the moment I stepped onto the podium, I felt a special rapport with the talented musicians of the Orchestra. I look forward to becoming fully immersed in the Washington community.” —Philippe Auguin

WNO’s new music director, Philippe Auguin, conducts three of this season’s productions: Lucia di Lammermoor, Così Fan Tutte, and Nabucco. Plácido Domingo conducts the season opening production of Tosca, and Emmanuel Villaume returns to conduct Werther.

Washington National Opera Orchestra

WNO Orchestra photo by Leah L. Jones.

Photo by Greg Gorman

Kennedy Center Opera House photo by Tony Brown.

Plácido Domingo

World-Class Opera in the Kennedy Center Opera House! Being a full season subscriber has its privileges—besides getting the very best seats, dates, and prices, you will also receive the following exclusive subscriber benefits: • • • • • •

FREE performance ticket exchanges 10% discount on additional tickets to mainstage operas 10% discount on the Two-Concert Series package No handling fees Interest-free monthly payment plans available (deadlines apply) FREE Season Preview CD …and much more!

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Giacomo Puccini

Tosca Sep 10 , 12, 14, 16, 18m, 20, 22, 23, 24, 2011 †

Production from The Dallas Opera In Italian with English supertitles

Puccini’s Tosca is an irresistible combination of passion, tenderness, pathos, and despair that immediately grabs your attention and races to its terrible conclusion.

Patricia Racette Tosca

How far will Tosca go to save her beloved?

Frank Porretta Cavaradossi

Floria Tosca, a beautiful opera diva, tries to save her lover’s life by giving herself to the dreaded chief of police, Baron Scarpia. The situation turns deadly, and even Scarpia’s murder may not stop his diabolical plan. This dazzling production by Giulio Chazalettes features soprano Patricia Racette, tenor Frank Porretta, and DC favorite, bassbaritone Alan Held. Plácido Domingo conducts this timeless classic.

Alan Held Scarpia

Tosca Patricia Racette (Sep 10, 12, 14, 16, 18m, 20, 22, 24) Natalia Ushakova (Sep 23) Cavaradossi Frank Porretta (Sep 10, 14, 18m, 20, 22, 24) Gwyn Hughes Jones* (Sep 12, 16, 23)

Conductor Plácido Domingo Israel Gursky

Director David Kneuss

Original Production Giulio Chazalettes*

* company debut † Season Opening Night Gala Performance

Tosca by Karen Almond for The Dallas Opera.

Scarpia Alan Held (Sep 10, 14, 18m, 20, 22, 24) Scott Hendricks (Sep 12, 16, 23)

“Patricia Racette is a deeply affecting and impassioned Tosca.” —The New York Times

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Gaetano Donizetti

Lucia di Lammermoor Nov 10, 12, 13m, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 2011 Production from English National Opera In Italian with English supertitles

Lyubov Petrova Lucia

Alexey Dolgov Edgardo

Saimir Pirgu Edgardo

Michael Chioldi Enrico

Brian Mulligan Enrico

Mirco Palazzi Raimondo

Paolo Pecchioli Raimondo

Lucia Sarah Coburn (Nov 10, 13m, 15, 18) Lyubov Petrova (Nov 12, 14, 16, 19) Edgardo Saimir Pirgu* (Nov 10, 13m, 15, 18) Alexey Dolgov (Nov 12, 14, 16, 19)

In this psychologically gripping opera, Lucia is the sacrificial lamb in her brother’s scheme to regain the family fortune. Forced to abandon the man she loves and marry another for money, she relinquishes her sanity, killing her bridegroom and taking her own life in one of opera’s most horrifying and musically gorgeous scenes.

Lucia will suffer for her brother’s triumph. David Alden’s edgy production will be performed by two spectacular casts. Sharing the title role are the “breathtaking” (Cincinnati Enquirer) Sarah Coburn and Lyubov Petrova, a soprano who has “awed audiences” (Opera Today). WNO Music Director Philippe Auguin conducts Donizetti’s riveting score.

Enrico Michael Chioldi (Nov 10, 13m, 15, 18) Brian Mulligan* (Nov 12, 14, 16, 19) Raimondo Mirco Palazzi (Nov 10, 13m, 15, 18) Paolo Pecchioli* (Nov 12, 14, 16, 19)

Conductor Philippe Auguin

Director David Alden * company debut A production of the Clarice Smith Opera Series.

Lucia di Lammermoor by Robert Workman for English National Opera.

Sarah Coburn Lucia

Lucia is “a magnificent conception which Alden stages with total command.” —The Daily Telegraph

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Così Fan Tutte Feb 25, 28, Mar 2, 4m, 7, 10, 12, 15, 2012 Production from Seattle Opera In Italian with English supertitles

Take two silly sisters, mix in brash lovers, add a pinch of cynical philosopher and a dash of scheming maid, and you have a recipe for a night of madcap opera. Elizabeth Futral Fiordiligi

The school for lovers is now in session. In Mozart’s game of love and seduction, two young men wager that their fiancées will remain faithful, even when tempted. To prove it, they decide to do the tempting themselves—they pretend to go off to war and return in disguise, each intent on wooing the other’s lady.

Renata Pokupic´ Dorabella

Joel Prieto Ferrando

Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production captures the essence of Washington, DC, and features a stunning ensemble including Elizabeth Futral, Renata Pokupic´, Joel Prieto, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, William Shimell, and Ketevan Kemoklidze. WNO Music Director Philippe Auguin conducts Mozart’s score, which is packed with biting comedy and poignant beauty.

William Shimell Don Alfonso

Ketevan Kemoklidze Despina

This production of Così Fan Tutte is part of the Kennedy Center’s Music of Budapest, Prague, and Vienna. For more information, visit

Fiordiligi Elizabeth Futral

Dorabella Renata Pokupic´ Ferrando Joel Prieto* Guglielmo Teddy Tahu Rhodes Don Alfonso William Shimell* Despina Ketevan Kemoklidze Conductor Philippe Auguin

Director & Design Jonathan Miller

* company debut

Così Fan Tutte by Mike Hoban for Royal Opera House.

Teddy Tahu Rhodes Guglielmo

Miller’s production of Così “may well be the funniest and most dramatically successful…” —The Seattle Times

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Giuseppe Verdi

Nabucco Apr 28, May 2, 5, 10, 13m, 15, 18, 21, 2012 Company Premiere and New Production In Italian with English supertitles

Verdi’s powerful blockbuster about the defeat, enslavement, and exile of the ancient Babylonian Jews by King Nabucco is filled with gorgeous music, including the famous slave chorus “Va pensiero.” Witness the epic struggle of a royal family at odds with their nation and each other, battling for power among the lost wonders of the world in this rarely performed work.

Franco Vassallo Nabucco

Csilla Boross Abigaille

An epic struggle for freedom in ancient Babylon.

Nabucco Franco Vassallo*

Abigaille Csilla Boross*

Ismaele Sean Panikkar

Fenena Géraldine Chauvet*

Conductor Philippe Auguin

Director Thaddeus Strassberger (Hamlet, 2010) creates a new production for this company premiere. WNO Music Director Philippe Auguin conducts, and Franco Vassallo and Csilla Boross make their company debuts as Nabucco and Abigaille.

Director & Set Design Thaddeus Strassberger * company debut

Nabucco is a co-production with San Francisco Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Nabucco by Cory Weaver for San Diego Opera.

Come admire the “handsome baritone” of Franco Vassallo. —The New York Times

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Jules Massenet

Werther May 12, 14, 17, 19, 22, 25, 27m, 2012 In French with English supertitles

100 years after the composer’s death, Werther is celebrated as Massenet’s finest work, with a lush score of tragically beautiful music.

Love holds Werther captive, with only one means of escape.

Francesco Meli Werther

The young poet Werther has fallen desperately in love with the beautiful Charlotte. When he discovers that she is honor-bound to marry Albert, he tries to stay away, but his passion draws him back to her. In despair, Werther decides the only way he can find peace is through death.

Werther Francesco Meli*

Charlotte Sonia Ganassi

Sophie Emily Albrink

Albert Andrew Foster-Williams Le Bailli Julien Robbins Conductor Emmanuel Villaume

* company debut

Adapted from a novel by the Romantic master Goethe, Werther is considered one of Massenet’s finest works, filled with richly textured, tragically beautiful music. Italian tenor Francesco Meli makes his WNO debut as the lovelorn poet Werther, and is joined by mezzosoprano Sonia Ganassi, singing the role of Charlotte. Their recent performances of these roles in Italy garnered praise for their chemistry and abilities as singing actors. WNO favorite Emmanuel Villaume returns to conduct Massenet’s masterpiece.

Werther by Roberto Ricci for Teatro Regio di Parma.

Sonia Ganassi Charlotte

“…a Werther of admirable depth and resonance with [conductor] Villaume emerging the victor.” —Opera News

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Additional Performances and Events The 2010-11 Plácido Domingo Celebrity Series concerts sold out immediately to subscribers last year. Subscribe now to secure your seats for Angela Gheorghiu and Deborah Voigt. SAVE 10% when you purchase both! Plácido Domingo Celebrity Series:

Angela Gheorghiu by Hennnessey.

Angela Gheorghiu March 3, 2012 Company Debut

“…the world’s most glamorous opera star.” — The New York Sun “Talented, glamorous, and every bit the diva, Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu is a star” (Billboard ). Making her WNO debut, Washington audiences will finally have the chance to experience Ms. Gheorghiu’s magnificent voice and dazzling stage presence. At home on the great opera and recital stages of the world, Ms. Gheorghiu has been hailed as one of opera’s greatest singing actresses. Her performances of La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera were “a searing reminder of why we go to opera in the first place” (New York Post). This is a rare opportunity to hear Ms. Gheorghiu perform selections from the operas that made her an international sensation with the WNO Orchestra.

DiVa Light: An Evening with

Deborah Voigt by James Salzano.

Deborah Voigt March 17, 2012 Teddy Tahu Rhodes, baritone Ted Sperling*, conductor

“Ms. Voigt, clearly in her prime, is astonishing.” —The New York Times Get ready for a rare glimpse at another side of Deborah Voigt: it’s Broadway, baby! For this one spectacular performance, she will use her “golden toned, full-bodied singing and luminous beauty” (Chicago Sun Times) to create an evening of pure magic, singing classics from the American songbook. A devotee of Broadway and American song, Ms. Voigt’s recent performances had Opera News raving, “Voigt…comes to pop-singing naturally…If this were 1970, she would probably be given her own network variety show.” Joining Ms. Voigt for several duets is WNO favorite, baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes, whose “stage presence is commanding and his singing…quite potent.” ( They will be joined by conductor Ted Sperling, music director and conductor of the Tony award-winning revival of South Pacific and recent revival of Guys and Dolls. * company debut

Family Look-In

November 19, 2011 at 2:00 PM See the magic of opera come to life! Join members of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and the WNO Orchestra to learn about the orchestra, lighting, staging, and more from some of opera’s most famous characters. This onehour production is the perfect introduction to opera for children ages 6–12 and their families.

NEW! Emerging Artist Performances

Così Fan Tutte

March 2012 Level11m, 3 Level 2 HH 9 and

Level 5

Level 3



EE These unique performances are part of WNO’s ongoing access initiative to introduce new artistsLevel to Washington and new 2 Level 2 AA audiences to the Opera. These performances will feature AA members and alumni of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist 3vel 5 Level 2 LevelZ 3 HH HH Level 5 and other young, emerging artists. ZProgram GG FF EE N/A Level 3 Level 2 Level 3 HH H Level 5 FF CC Level 2 EE Level 2 Level 1 N/A Level 3 AA AA Level 2 Level 5 Z Level 2 AAR Z R AA Individual Two-Concert Emerging Artist Family Look-In Price Zone 3 Level 2 Level 3 Q HH HH Level 5 Adult Z Level 5 Concert Package Performances Youth W P ZP GG FF V EE Level 3 N/A Level 1 Level 5 $140 $252 HH $100 $35 2 $15 Level HH Level Level 2 Level 3 GG FF Level 2 $100 $180 $75 $25 $10CC EE N/A Level 1 Level 1 1 Level Level 2 R L RAA$144 AA Level 3 $80 $55 $20 2 R$10 Level K CC Level 5Q Q Z Level 2 AA Z AA Level 4 $60 $40 $15 $10 P $108 R R N/A

SAVE 10%




Level 5

Level 1 1 Level Level 2 Level 3 Level 1


Z G $72 Z P

Level 1 R


$25 2 Level Stage Level 3 Level Level 4 1

W V L K Level 1



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Thu, Sep 22

Level 3 Sat, NovZ 12 Z HHSun, Nov 13

Thu, Nov 10Level 5Wed, Nov 16HH

Così Level 5

Sat, Feb 25

Level 2 Nabucco

FF 28 Sat, Apr


Sat, May 12

N/A Level 3

Level 2

Series C Thursdays

O-Zone Lectures Level 2

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3 5 evel

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EE Sun,HH Mar 4

Wed, Sep 14

GG FF N/A2Wed, Mar 7Level LevelThu, 3 Mar 15 Level

EE Sun, May 13 AA AA

Thu, May 10 Wed, May 2 Level 2 Level 1 select alt date* Thu, May 17 Level 2 Level 5

Sun, May 27

Z Z B R Series Series C Series D AA Price Zone 3 Level 2 Level 3 Q HH HH Level 5 Z Level 5 Full Price 6-month ZFull P Price 6-month Full Price 6-month Full Price 6-month GG FF 3 N/A 2 V 1 Level $1,460 $244 $1,025EE $171 HH $975Level $163 $975Level$163 5 HH Level Level 2 Level 3 GG FF Level 2 $900 $150 $825EE$138 $775 $130 $775 $130 N/A Level 1 1 1 Level Level 2 Level R L R RAA $96AA $525 Level 3 $575 $96 $575 $88 $525 Level 2$88 K CC Level 5Q 2 AA Q Z Level 4 $400 Level $67R $400 $400 $67 $400 $67 P Z AA$67 R R Z G Z $46 Level 5 G $275 $46QG $275 $275 Level $46 $275 $46 2 Q P V Stage Level 1 1 Level 1 W Level Level L Kennedy Center Opera House Level 3 2 V Orchestra Level LevelK 1 Level 1 Level 1 R Level 4 Level 3 R L R Level 3 Level 2 Level 3 HH HH Level 5 HH Level 5 HH K GG G G Q G Q GG FF FF EE EE P R R N/A N/A R Level 4 CC Level 2 CC Stage Level 2 AA Level 2 AA AA QG Q AA G G Level 2 P Z Z Level 5 Level 5 Z Level 2

AAAR Series


Level 1


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Level 1

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Stage G

Level 4

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Level 1






G Level 1

Level 1



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P Level 2


Level 1



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L K Level 1 R W V


Level 4



Level 1




—only through March 31!** Series E Mondays

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Series H‡ Fridays

Artist Q&As

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Tue, Sep 20

Sat, Sep 24

Fri, Sep 16

Mon, Nov 14

Tue, Nov 15

Sat, Nov 19

Fri, Nov 18

Mon, Mar 12

Tue, Feb 28

Sat, Mar 10

Fri, Mar 2

Mon, May 21

Tue, May 15

Sat, May 5

Fri, May 18

Mon, May 14

Tue, May 22

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$1,025 $171




































10% on Series H through April 29!

Order your subscription today at and use your Source Code to take advantage of these limited-time offers! Call to inquire about availability in the Box and Tier levels. * Please select an alternate weekday performance from another series to complete subscription and indicate when ordering. ** Monthly payment plans only available with credit card purchase. 6-month prices rounded up to the nearest dollar. † A portion of the subscription cost in the Premium and Level 1 price zones is tax deductible for the Season Opening Night Gala Performance of Tosca on Sep 10. Casting, program, schedules, and pricing are subject to change without notice. Deposited checks or charges do not guarantee seating availability. Offers are not valid on previously purchased subscriptions and are subject to availability. Some restrictions may apply. All sales are final; there are no refunds. Wheelchair accessible seating is available in all price categories for all operas. Call 202.295.2400 or email

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Visit for the most up-to-date WNO news and production information. Sign up to receive the WNO Insider eNewsletter, Coming Up eCalendar, and Curtain Up production eMagazine.

Learn more about the composers and operas in FREE pre-performance lectures with musicologist Saul Lilienstein in the Kennedy Center Opera House beginning 75 minutes prior to curtain.

Artist Q&As (Sundays and Mondays) Find WNO online:

Learn more about WNO artists and productions with Christina Scheppelmann, Director of Artistic Operations, in FREE question and answer sessions immediately following Sunday and Monday performances in the Kennedy Center Opera House.

Support the Opera WNO is grateful to everyone who supports the Opera through its Membership Programs, Legacy Society, and Special Events. Patrons who support WNO receive additional ticket priority, as well as special privileges, behind-the-scenes opportunities, Playbill recognition, and exclusive invitations to events and rehearsals.

The Legacy Society • Donors who arrange for a gift through their estate plans, or make a gift that provides them with life income while at the same time benefiting the Opera

Galas and Special Events • Join us for the Season Opening Night Gala, The Opera Ball, and the Midwinter Event • Event sponsors receive priority seating and other benefits

Questions? Please call 202.295.2482 or email

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Two-Concert Series Package Plácido Domingo Celebrity Series:

Angela Gheorghiu DiVa Light: An Evening with

Deborah Voigt

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Deborah Voigt Family Look-In Emerging Artist: Così Fan Tutte

DiVa Light: An Evening with

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Plácido Domingo Celebrity Series:

Tosca Lucia di Lammermoor Così Fan Tutte Nabucco Werther

2011-12 Season

Photos: Opera House photo by Tony Brown. Cover: Tosca by Karen Almond for The Dallas Opera. Opera House photo by Karin Cooper for WNO.

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2011-12 Season Brochure  
2011-12 Season Brochure  

WNO's 56th season offers a dramatic and exhilarating look at life, love, and the abuses of power immortalized by Puccini, Donizetti, Mozart,...