Tenor. Alfredo Germont in La traviata.
Joshua is a graduate of University of California at Los Angeles.
Making his WNO and role debut as Alfredo, Joshua has performed roles ranging from Greenhorn in Moby-Dick at LA Opera to Macduff in Zurich Opera House’s Macbeth. He’s a winner of two awards at Operalia 2014 and an alumnus of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at LA Opera.
Whether he’s singing the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium or performing at the world’s top opera houses, the “gifted young tenor” (New York Times) continues to see a skyrocketing career.
Fun fact: Before pursuing opera, Joshua worked as a singing gondolier in Las Vegas.
Watch Joshua’s award-winning performance of “Torna ai Felicia di” from Le villi:
Follow Joshua on Facebook for more information.
Baritone. Giorgio Germont in La traviata.
Hailing from Raleigh, N.C., Lucas studied at Appalachian State University, the Eastman School of Music, and Yale University before becoming an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera.
Lucas’s “earnest appealing baritone” (New York Times) has led him to the world’s most important opera stages, from the Metropolitan Opera to San Francisco Opera and Royal Opera. He appeared as Figaro in LA Opera’s Grammy Award®–winning recording of The Ghosts of Versailles.
For his WNO debut, Lucas portrays Alfredo’s hardheaded but loving father.
“My favorite moment of La traviata is Violetta and Germont’s duet,” Lucas told WNO. “Germont decides to judge Violetta on the substance of her character rather than her occupation.”
Fun fact: Lucas gives helpful advice for singing in Italian, creating a vocal game plan, navigating stage romance etiquette, and more in his personal blog!
Listen to Lucas sing some of his highest notes in these arias:
Follow Lucas on Facebook for more information.
Soprano. Violetta Valéry in La traviata.
Hailed as “the new voice of Russia,” Venera has performed for opera houses around the world. But with this performance she’ll mark her WNO debut.
The soprano was born in Kazan, Russia and studied at Bolshoi Theatre’s young artist program, where she now performs as a company member.
Venera is no stranger to the role of the ill-fated Violetta—she’s portrayed it to great acclaim at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, LA Philharmonic, and Glyndebourne. Describing her performance as Violetta, the Guardian said Venera is “a soprano of huge presence, compelling to watch, with a voice of thrilling security and range.”
Venera hopes the story of La traviata will touch many people.
“My wish is that audiences will leave believing there is purity in sacrifices, power in feelings, truth in love,” Venera told WNO. “We are stronger if we live by these principles.”
Watch Venera perform La traviata’s famous brindisi drinking song:
Follow Venera on Twitter + Facebook and visit her website for more information.
Washington National Opera welcomes our new General Director Timothy O’Leary! We also extend our congratulations to Tim who was just re-elected to an additional two-year term as chair of the board for OPERA America, the national service organization for opera. We are so pleased to have this national arts leader as a member of our WNO family. Read more
Free community event allows fans to lounge in the outfield
and watch an opera broadcast of Rossini’s laugh-out-loud rom-com
Washington National Opera (WNO) celebrates the eleventh season of free opera broadcasts at Nationals Park with Opera in the Outfield® on Saturday, September 29, 2018. Gates open at 5 p.m. for pre-show activities with the highlight of the evening, Rossini’s comic masterpiece, The Barber of Seville, broadcast on the high-definition Nationals Park scoreboard at 7 p.m. This popular free event is guaranteed to have fans belt out, “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!” The opera is performed in Italian, with easy-to-follow English captions shown on the scoreboard. The approximate running time of the opera is three hours, including one 25-minute intermission.
Ample free seating will be available in the stands and access to seating on the outfield grass will be limited on a first-come, first-served basis. Patrons wishing to sit on the outfield grass will receive a free wristband, which will be distributed near the Family Picnic Area (at sections 141–143) beginning at 5 p.m. Accessible seating is available throughout Nationals Park, and assistive listening devices are also available. The event will be fully captioned. More information is available at OperaintheOutfield.org.
Washington National Opera (WNO) has announced the roster of emerging talent selected for the 17th season of its Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program (DCYAP), which begins in August 2018!
Please join us in congratulating our first year Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist tenor, Alexander McKissick, on reaching the finals of OPERALIA, one of the most prestigious and important international vocal competitions in the world.
Founded and conducted by the great Plácido Domingo himself, this competition is a real pinnacle for any singer, and we wish Alex several broken legs and many “Toi Toi Tois” when he travels this fall to Lisbon to compete in the final round.
Alexander is currently appearing in WNO’s production of Candide, earning praise for his double-duty roles as The Grand Inquisitor and the Governor.
We are very proud to report that Madison Leonard, a current Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist at Washington National Opera, was named yesterday as one of five outright winners of the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions competition, performing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera with the Met orchestra conducted by Maestro Bertrand de Billy. She sang Gilda’s notoriously difficult aria ‘Caro nome’ from Rigoletto, and Gretel’s aria from Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.
The five winners of the 2018 MONCA Grand Finals (Madison on the far right).
Congratulations to WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello for her election into the Class of 2018 of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This prestigious honor recognizes exceptional scholars, leaders, artists, and innovators, and engages them in sharing knowledge and addressing challenges facing the world. The Academy dedicates itself to “new knowledge” and their projects and publications generate ideas and offer recommendations to advance the public good in the arts, citizenship, education, energy, government, the humanities, international relations, science, and more.
This spring, the Kennedy Center celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with a production of Candide, a work with contributions from a veritable gallery of 20th-century masters. In anticipation of this epic theatrical event, you can learn more about the creators of Candide—and the novella and events that inspired them—by exploring some of the recommendations below.
Voltaire’s satirical novella traces the journey of young Candide as he attempts to reconcile his tutor’s philosophy of optimism with the hardship of earthly existence. The Norton Critical Edition of Candide, edited by Nicholas Cronk, includes extensive footnotes for the novella’s many references, as well as a series of essays offering background and criticism. Read more