Opera Philadelphia

Published1 Sep 2022

Opera Philadelphia debuts a schedule of free programming around Festival O22

The city again becomes a stage as Festival O22 returns this fall with Otello at the Academy of Music, The Raven at the Miller Theater, Afternoons at AVA, and a celebration of Opera on Film at the Philadelphia Film Center, culminating with a hybrid live-music and screening of Black Lodge. In addition, Opera Philadelphia launches a series of free-to-the-public events, ranging from concerts to story times, across Philadelphia. 

Opera in the Park: The Marriage of Figaro

Thursday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Dilworth Park

  • Free and open to the public

  • Audio description will be provided.

  • Bilingual captioning

Saturday, September 10, from 5:30-10:00 p.m.

4261 N. 5th Street – Esperanza Parking Lot (Bristol between 5th and 3rd Streets)

  • Free and open to the public

  • Bilingual captioning

Opera in the Park is back with three free public screenings of The Marriage of Figaro, subtitled in both English and Spanish. On Thursday, September 8, come see the beloved Mozart opera at Dilworth Park. The event, in partnership with Center City District, is part of the Arts on Center Stage Encore series supported by PNC Bank and Temple University. Audio Description will also be available.

Arte en las Calles: Opera in the Park is presented in partnership with Esperanza Arts Center, Artistas y Musicos Latino Americanos (AMLA), and Esperanza’s Economic & Housing Development Department. The Saturday, September 10 event at the Esperanza Parking Lot at 4261 N. 5th St. will feature, along with The Marriage of Figaro, an evening of family fun including Latin food, face painting, and live music by the Angel Luis Gonzalez Ensemble. Comedian Che Guerrero will perform and serve as Emcee.

“We are excited to continue our long-standing partnership with Opera Philadelphia with this free Arte en las Calles season opening celebration for family and community,” said Bill Rhoads, Senior Vice President of Esperanza Arts Center. “This event is the result of true collaboration, pairing the immense talent of Latino artists – comic, culinary, and musical – in our region with a beautiful outdoor screening of an operatic treasure by Philadelphia’s premiere opera company.”

For the Beauty of the Earth

Sunday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church

  •       Free and open to the public

  •       Registration is encouraged but not required

Postponed from May 2022, For the Beauty of the Earth, a concert performed by the women of the Opera Philadelphia Chorus, conducted by Elizabeth Braden, returns as a free Festival O22 event at Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church.

Narrator Cookie Diorio joins the Chorus for a concert of works that honor the sacred, capture our deepest emotions, and elevate the essence of poetry. The program will feature composers and poets from the LGBTQIA+ community, including Stephen SondheimLeonard Bernstein, and Philadelphia-based composer Pax Ressler


Opera Storybook Time

Saturday, September 24 at 10:30 a.m.

Marian Anderson Recreation Center

  •       Free and open to the public

  • Registration is encouraged but not required.

Saturday, October 1 at 10:30 a.m.

Wharton Wesley United Methodist Church

  •       Free and open to the public
  •       Registration is encouraged but not required.

Young children will especially enjoy Opera Storybook Time, but these two free events in partnership with the National Marian Anderson Museum & Historical Society are fun for all ages. Along with a reading of When Marian Sang, attendees can see dresses, sheet music, and other items that belonged to Marian to bring her story to life.

"Our great Marian Anderson is one of the most important historical figures of the 20th century because of her groundbreaking, exceptional music artistry and her humanitarianism,” said Jillian Patricia Pirtle, CEO of the National Marian Anderson Museum & Historical Society.  “Marian Anderson's historical legacy is even more relevant and paramount in the 21st century. Though the public may be aware of many of the extraordinary achievements of Marian Anderson, I believe that historic and tributary books of our great Marian Anderson like 'When Marian Sang' provide a special view and education on Marian Anderson's life that youngsters and the whole family can learn from and enjoy. As the National Marian Anderson Museum & Historical Society continues to recover from our flood emergency, the Marian Anderson Museum is delighted and grateful to be able to partner with Opera Philadelphia to have the pages of Pam Muñoz Ryan's book come to life through the voice and storytelling with this wonderful Opera Storybook Time programming for the public and community at large.”

Pirtle will perform the reading on Saturday, September 24 at the Marian Anderson Recreational Center, and D’quan Tyson, Opera Philadelphia’s Education Coordinator for In-School Programs, will read on Saturday, October 1 at Wharton-Wesley United Methodist Church.


The Raven Roundtable

Tuesday, September 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Rendell Room, Kimmel Center

  •       Free and open to the public

  •       Registration is encouraged but not required.

Delve deeper into Toshio Hosokawa’s The Raven at this panel discussion led by Robert Buscher, Associate Director of Organizational Culture at Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, with choreographer and theater artist Makoto Hirano and Swarthmore College professor Will Gardner, PhD.


Learn more about these and other O22 events at operaphila.org/whats-on/events

About Festival O22 

Debuting in 2017, Opera Philadelphia’s annual, season-openingFestival Oimmediately garnered audience and critical acclaim, proving to bea hotbed of operatic innovation(New York Times) andone of the most enjoyable additions to the fall calendar in years”(Washington Post). Following a two-year, pandemic-induced hiatus, the annual 12-day gathering for opera lovers returns in September 2022 with its fourth iteration, O22, featuring the company premiere of Rossini’s rarely performedOtelloat the Academy of Music in an elegant production starring tenorKhanyiso Gwenxanein his U.S. debut in the title role and star tenorLawrence Brownlee as Rodrigo. The festival also presents Toshio HosokawasThe Raven, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting poem and Noh theater, in an immersive evening at the Miller Theater starring mezzo-soprano Kristen Choi, and the world premiere ofBlack Lodge, a new cinematic opera with live musical accompaniment by the glam opera band Timur and the Dime Museum and the Opera Philadelphia Orchestra, produced by Beth Morrison Projects. Academy of Vocal Arts alumni Latonia Moore and André Courville lead twoAfternoons at AVArecitals, whileOpera on Filmcelebrates opera on the big screen with a series of films ranging from adventurous shorts to bold, feature-length productions, including works by Joseph Losey, William Kentridge, Robert Townsend, Pedro Almodóvar, and E. Elias Merhige. All festival evenings can be capped off withLate Night Snacks, as the Bearded Ladies and a roster of deliciously dangerous and provocatively pleasurable performers operate an after-hours cabaret ina refitted industrial space, presented in partnership with the 2022 Philadelphia Fringe Festival.For more information, visitoperaphila.org. 


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