Meet our two talented angels in WNO’s heartwarming family opera!
Kylee, 11, makes her WNO debut with The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me. She’s loved singing and music ever since she started talking, and has performed in area musical theater productions and vocal recitals since she was four years old. Two of her favorite songs to sing are “The Lonely Goatherd” (The Sound of Music) and “Quiet” (Matilda). When she’s not performing, Kylee loves writing, reading, swimming, and arts & crafts.
Holden, 13, made his WNO debut in 2017 as the title character in The Little Prince. Holden says that performing is “exhilarating, because I get to become a different character.” He enjoys a wide variety of songs and plays the clarinet in his school’s symphonic band. In his spare time, he likes to play ultimate Frisbee.
“Hometown favorite” (Washington Post) Soloman Howard returns to D.C. to reprise the title role of Lion in The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me. Soloman is an alum of the Manhattan School of Music and Morgan State University and a 2014 graduate of our Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. He was last seen on the WNO stage as The King in 2017’s Aida.
Soloman has performed on opera stages around the world, from The Metropolitan Opera to Teatro Real de Madrid. Now he’s back to display his “magical voice” (Washingtonian) as the brash but endearing lion.
WNO’s American Opera Initiative (AOI) is a comprehensive commissioning program that provides emerging composers and librettists with mentorship and opportunities to write for the opera stage. AOI’s mission is to ensure the future of contemporary American opera, and we’re succeeding! Washington National Opera is very proud to have two of its original AOI commissions, An American Solder (2014) and Proving Up (2018), selected by the New York Times as “The Best of Classical Music 2018” for individual productions held nationally this past year. Click to read the full article.
WNO Choristers in La Traviata/photo by Scott Suchman
Washington National Opera benefits from having a chorus that includes some of the finest singers in the Mid-Atlantic area, adding musical depth and dramatic or comedic flair to each production. These opera singers are more than just background—they deftly add important elements to the story unfolding on stage. WNO’s chorus, drawn from an established pool of about 100 very accomplished artists, who sing in seven languages: English, Italian, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Czech—no small feat! Three WNO Chorus members got dressed up for La traviata and stepped out onto center stage in small roles during the production: Spencer Adamson (baritone) performed as Flora’s Servant; Aurelio Dominguez (tenor) portrayed Giuseppe; and Rob McGinness (baritone) served as the Messenger. Here, the talented trio share their tricks of the trade for success: Read more
Director Tomer Zvulun reflects on WNO’s next production: Silent Night
From the first moment I listened to Silent Night, I felt that it deeply touched a personal side in me. Kevin Puts’s music along with Mark Campbell’s libretto uniquely captures the dichotomy of love and war and creates a world that is both specific and universal at once. It captures the humanity of the characters and the comforts that friendship and music bring to the bloodiest of all human experiences—war. Read more
Hailing from Madison, Connecticut, Alexander made his WNO debut in the 2017–2018 season of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. This season, he returns to the Artist Program to perform his role debut as Nikolaus Sprink plus roles in Faust and The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me.
In his fast-growing career as a tenor, Alexander has won international awards and sung roles ranging from Alfredo Germont in La traviata to Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte. In May 2018, Alexander reached the finals of OPERALIA, one of the most prestigious and important international vocal competitions in the world.
Born and raised in D.C., Kenneth is quickly gaining recognition as a sought-after rising star. He’ll return to his hometown for his role debut as Father Palmer after making his WNO debut in 2010’s Un Ballo in Maschera.
Since graduating from our Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program in 2012, Kenneth has performed everywhere from Switzerland’s Opéra de Lausanne to San Francisco’s Opera Parallèlle.
Kenneth is noted by critics for his “commanding stage presence” and “rich, resonant bass.”
“[From Silent Night] I hope audiences will grasp that the joys of life rest in the things that transcend our differences,” Kenneth told WNO.
Raquel is a familiar face at WNO; she graduated from the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program in 2017 where she performed the roles of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Cio-Cio San in the DCYA performance of Madame Butterfly. She returns for her role debut as Anna Sørensen after a successful season as Tatiana in Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s Eugene Onegin and Violetta in Cincinnati’s Queen City Opera production of La traviata.
Critics hail Raquel as a “true artist” (Opera News) and a “marvel of voice and stage” (KC Metropoolis).
Read our Q&A with Raquel to learn about her first transformative musical experience and how she discovered she loved opera.
Congratulations to WNO’s head of music staff, Michael Baitzer, for his recent additional appointment as Director of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program at Central City Opera. Read the press announcement here.
Ellen Berelson, Chair of Washington National Opera’s (WNO) Board of Trustees, and Timothy O’Leary, WNO’s new General Director, announce important updates to the company’s leadership structure, laying the groundwork for a new era of bold artistic plans and service to the Washington community. WNO has renewed the engagement of Francesca Zambello as Artistic Director for three years, following a unanimous vote by the WNO Board of Trustees to extend her contract. Also announced is the appointment of American conductor Evan Rogister as Principal Conductor through the 2021–2022 season. Additionally, O’Leary and Zambello have completed the formation of WNO’s new management team through key hires for top administrative posts.