Paul McCartney’s ‘Liverpool Oratorio’ headlines Cincinnati Opera’s 2024 Summer Festival

A world stage premiere of Paul McCartney’s “Liverpool Oratorio” headlines Cincinnati Opera’s planned schedule for its 2024 Summer Festival.

The company’s General Director and CEO Christopher Milligan and Artistic Director Evans Mirageas announced preliminary details for the nearly two-month series on Wednesday.

McCartney’s work is described as an uplifting epic inspired by the legendary musician’s early life. The show is based on a live album of the same name released by McCartney and conductor/composer Carl Davis in 1991. It was McCartney’s debut in the classical music genre.

Cincinnati Opera’s other main stage performances include a new production of W.A. Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and Giuseppe Verdi’s tragic romance, “La Traviata.” 

Promotional illustration for Paul McCartney’s “Liverpool Oratorio”: Aimee Sposito Martini

Performances will take place in Springer Auditorium at Music Hall.

Beyond mainstage productions, the Summer Festival also includes several community programs and smaller-scale performances, including projects developed specifically for Music Hall’s intimate Wilks Studio. Details will be announced in January.

“What makes opera so special is that it is living, thriving, and ever evolving, and the same can be said for Cincinnati Opera itself,” said Mirageas. “Our mainstage repertoire for the 2024 season is emblematic of the diverse voices, captivating stories, and outstanding artistry we strive to elevate and celebrate. And we look forward to expanding the festival-going experience with surprising and evocative projects suited perfectly to the Wilks.”

Milligan, who began his role with Cincinnati Opera in March 2020, referred to the construction of the performance schedule as a “pursuit of projects that are operatic in their essence and appeal to a broad audience.” 

“Don Giovanni” and “La Traviata” are classics for that very reason, he said, noting McCartney’s “Liverpool Oratorio” has it all — a “relatable and inspiring story, memorable melodies written for classically trained voices, and a connection to one of the world’s truly great singer-songwriters.” 

“We’re thrilled to bring this work to the opera stage for the first time,” Milligan added.

Christopher Milligan

Subscriptions for Cincinnati Opera’s 2024 Summer Festival start at $105 and will be available for purchase beginning Sept. 21. Tickets to individual performances start at $36 and go on sale April 1, 2024.


Cincinnati Opera 2024 Summer Festival 

Don Giovanni

Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte

June 13 and June 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Cast: Elliot Madoreas Don Giovanni, Jessica Faselt as Donna Anna and Jessica Rivera as Donna Elvira


La Traviata

Music by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Francesco Maria Piave

June 27 at 7:30 p.m., June 28 at 7:30 p.m. and June 30 at 3 p.m.
Cast: Gilda Fiume as Violetta Valéry, Santiago Ballerini as Alfredo Germont and Anthony Clark Evans as Giorgio Germont


“Liverpool Oratorio”

Music and libretto by Paul McCartney and Carl Davis

July 18 at 7:30 p.m., July 20 at 7:30 p.m., July 21 at 3 p.m. and July 27 at 3 p.m.
Cast: Andrew Owens as Shanty, Jacqueline Echols as Mary Dee, Kayleigh Decker as Miss Inkley/Chief Mourner/nurse and Kevin Short as headmaster/preacher/Mr. Dingle

Cincinnati Opera


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