Cincinnati Opera is once again pulling back the curtain on its performances to share the stories, inspiration, creative process and personalities behind them.
The company’s free Opera Raps series returns Jan. 25 and runs through April 17. The programs will provide music lovers a behind-the-scenes look at Cincinnati Opera’s 2024 Summer Festival. Events will take place at venues throughout the city, including Music Hall, Cincinnati Opera’s warehouse, Over-the-Rhine’s First Lutheran Church and Woodward Theater.
The Opera Raps season kicks off with a mini-Mozart experience in anticipation of the company’s June 2024 production of his opera, “Don Giovanni.” Cincinnati Opera describes “Hausmusik: Mozart and Friends at Home” as a recreation of a musical evening hosted at Mozart’s home. The following night, Jan. 26, the company is hosting “Mozart’s Women,” led by “Don Giovanni” conductor Dame Jane Glover.
In March, the series continues with two events inspired by the Cincinnati Opera’s July 2024 world stage premiere of “Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio.” “The Beatles Phenomenon” on March 6 will feature Beatles expert Om Srivastava. Then, on March 28, the creative team behind “Liverpool Oratario” is offering a first look at Cincinnati Opera’s new production-in-progress.
The series wraps up April 17 with opera director Trevore Ross discussing “Violetta’s Chosen Family,” inspired by the heroine of Verdi’s “La Traviata. Cincinnati Opera will present the beloved production in June 2024.
Additional details are outlined below.
While the Cincinnati Raps events are free and open to the public, tickets are required. Tickets are available on the Cincinnati Opera website or by calling 513-241-2742.
2024 Opera Raps
Hausmusik: Mozart and Friends at Home – Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m., Wilks Studio at Cincinnati Music Hall
In anticipation of Cincinnati Opera’s June 2024 production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” audiences are invited into this immersive exploration of the composer’s life and work. On countless evenings between 1784 and 1787, Mozart would invite friends to his Vienna home for food, wine and music-making. Joseph Haydn was a frequent guest, as were many other celebrated musicians of the day.
This event recreates a typical evening with the Mozarts featuring music for piano four hands, songs and a string quartet dedicated to Haydn, along with excerpts from visitors’ memoirs, Mozart’s letters and more.
Mozart’s Women – Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m., Wilks Studio at Cincinnati Music Hall
Celebrated conductor, scholar, and author Dame Jane Glover leads a discussion inspired by her book, “Mozart’s Women: His Family, His Friends, His Music.” Glover will delve into the opera as well as Mozart’s other music for women, with performances by two members of her “Don Giovanni” cast: sopranos Jessica Rivera and Erin Keesy. The event precedes Glover’s all-Mozart program that weekend with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
The Beatles Phenomenon – March 6 at 7:30 p.m., Woodward Theater
Inspired by Cincinnati Opera’s world stage premiere of “Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio,” Beatles expert Om Srivastava will lead audience members on a journey into the creativity and worldwide impact of the Fab Four. With recordings, interviews and photographs, Srivastava will trace the Beatles phenomenon from their early days in Liverpool, England and Hamburg, Germany to the epochal albums and worldwide tours, including two Cincinnati appearances. A cash bar will be available.
“Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio”: Sneak Peek with the Creative Team – March 28 at 7:30 p.m., Cincinnati Opera Warehouse
Audiences are invited to this exclusive glimpse into the creation of this first-time production. Director Caroline Clegg, designer Leslie Travers and choreographer Michael Pappalardo will offer insights into their creative vision for this new theatrical experience and share a guided first look at the production under construction.
Violetta’s Chosen Family – April 17 at 7:30 p.m., First Lutheran Church, Over-the-Rhine
As a preview to the production of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata,” stage director Trevore Ross explores this beloved masterpiece as an ode to the outsider. When Verdi composed the opera in 1853, his life bore some similarities to that of his heroine, the Parisian courtesan Violetta Valéry; he was something of a social outcast, living unmarried with his lover, the opera star Giuseppina Strepponi, according to the Cincinnati Opera. Through this lens, Ross will examine Violetta’s world and the friends with whom she surrounded herself. The evening will include excerpts performed by soprano Dana Pundt and tenor Pedro Barbosa.