Opera Philadelphia


The Anonymous Lover

The Anonymous Lover

Company Premiere
Music by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Libretto by François-Georges Fouques Deshayes, Desfontaines, based on the play L’amant anonyme by Stéphanie Félicité, Madame de Genlis, adapted by Kirsten Greenidge

By arrangement with Opera Ritrovata in conjunction with the publishers and copyright owners, engravers and editors: George N. Gianopoulos, Stephen Karr, Leila Núñez-Fredell, and Mishkar Núñez-Fredell

Performed in French with English supertitles

A Romantic Comedy ahead of its Time

A frothy romp filled with beautiful arias, winning characters, and charming music that inspires us to root for true love, The Anonymous Lover centers on young widow Léontine (soprano Symone Harcum). When she begins to receive a series of passionate letters from a secret admirer, she wrestles with whether she can love again, especially when it becomes apparent her friend Valcour is the unsigned author. Will love win?

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, was a pioneering Black composer and a contemporary of Mozart and Haydn who has been historically overlooked because of his race. Discover the only surviving opera by this groundbreaking 18th century composer, also an accomplished musician, fencer, and horseman.  

Watch Play

The Anonymous Lover video

MapThe Academy of Music

Dates are Jan - Feb 2025.

Fri, Jan 31 8:00 p.m.
Sun, Feb 2 2:00 p.m.

Approximately 90 minutes with no intermission

Co-produced with Boston Lyric Opera

Opera Philadelphia’s 2024-2025 Season is brought to you by the Artistry Now Matching Fund and Barbara Augusta Teichert

Academy of Music productions are made possible with support from Judy and Peter Leone

Cast & Creative Team

Kalena Bovell
Kalena Bovell *Conductor
Dennis Whitehead Darling
Dennis Whitehead Darling *Director
Symone Harcum
Symone Harcum *Léontine
Johnathan McCullough
Johnathan McCulloughOphémon
Ashley Marie Robillard
Ashley Marie RobillardJeanette
Joshua Blue
Joshua BlueColin
Sun-Ly Pierce
Sun-Ly PierceDorothée
  • Baron E. Pugh * Scenic Coordinator
  • Leslie Travers Costume Designer
  • Driscoll Otto Lighting Designer
  • Elizabeth Braden Chorus Master
  • Jennifer Shaw Stage Manager
  • Brianna Thompson Assistant Stage Manager
  • *Opera Philadelphia debut
Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

The Composer

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799), was born on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, the son of an enslaved woman of Senegalese origin and a French plantation owner.

From the age of eight, he was educated in France. In 1757, his father was named Gentleman of the King's Chamber, serving as a personal assistant to King Louis XV. At the age of 17, Joseph was made an officer of the king’s guard and given the title “Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges.” Read more>>

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