OperaDelaware Delaware Festival starts this weekend


OperaDelaware will hold its  2019 Festival  from April 27 through May 4.

The offerings are described as  “ a bold exploration of law, redemption, and unlikely friendships in a divided world.”

Scheduled are Scalia/Ginsburg, composer Derrick Wang’s one-act opera about the friendship between Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia. It will be paired with Trial by Jury, Gilbert & Sullivan’s courtroom comedy.

The company will also present Jake Heggie’s acclaimed  Deadman Walking. Based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean with a libretto by Terrence McNally,  the opera is about a death row inmate and the nun who becomes his reluctant spiritual adviser “makes the most concentrated impact of any piece of American music theater since West Side Story.” [The Guardian]

Performances will take place at The Grand (818 N. Market St., Wilmington). Tickets are on sale at operade.org or by calling OperaDelaware’s Box Office at 302-442-7807.

“We are beyond excited to bring these works to Delaware,” says Brenden Cooke, Opera Delaware’s General Director. “Dead Man Walking”  is one of the most successful operas of our time, and we’re also delighted to present the world premiere of a new orchestration of Derrick Wang’s brilliant Scalia/Ginsburg, paired with Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury.

Cooke continued, “Opera is an incredible vehicle for telling stories, and what stories we have to tell! These works — written in English, on (mostly) contemporary subjects — don’t preach about politics, the Constitution, or the death penalty, but they will certainly spark dialogue and challenge perspectives. The unifying theme of Scalia/Ginsburg  is ‘We are different, we are one,’ and we hope that our presentation of these works serves as a reminder that there are multiple valid viewpoints on every topic.”

Sister Helen Prejean, whose best-selling book of the same name inspired the opera, will attend the opening performance of  Dead Man Walking  on April 27. Patrons and the public are invited to meet Sister Helen Prejean at a book discussion and Q&A prior to the show at First & Central Presbyterian Church (1101 N. Market St.) beginning at 3:30 pm. This event is free, but reservations are required. Register at  operade.org. See schedule below:


Sat., April 27, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Sat., May 4, 2019 at 2 pm

Sun., April 28, 2019 at 2 pm
Fri., May 3, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Performances at The Grand, 818 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE

Thurs., May 2 at 7:30 pm

Performance at the OperaDelaware Studios, 4 S. Poplar St., Wilmington, DE

April 27, 6:30 pm: Octavio Cardenas (director, Dead Man Walking)
April 28, 1 pm: Fenlon Lamb (director, Scalia/Ginsburg) & Cynthia du Pont Tobias (director, Trial by Jury)
May 3, 6:30 pm: Sara Jobin (conductor, Scalia/Ginsburg & Trial by Jury)
May 4, 1 pm: Jerome Shannon (conductor, Dead Man Walking)



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