Washington National Opera to present concert version of 'Turandot' in Baltimore at the Lyric
Grand opera is coming back to Baltimore this season -- not in its absolute grandest of forms, with sets and costumes and all, and just for one night, but it's still good news.
The Lyric Opera House, where the Baltimore Opera Company made its home for decades before folding this season, will present a concert version of Washington National Opera's production of Puccini’s Turandot on June 2. This concert will come just before the end of the company's staged Turandot run at the Kennedy Center Opera House (May 16 to June 4). Dynamic Russian soprano Maria Guleghina will sing the title role in Baltimore opposite Argentine tenor Dario Volonté as Calaf. The performance will also feature the full WNO orchestra and chorus.
Since the demise of Baltimore Opera, after 51 years, there has been a lot of talk about some form of opera returning to the Lyric, and there were discussions early on between the theater and the DC company about some form of collaboration. It remains to be seen how much of a presence Washington National may develop in Baltimore; a lot will no doubt be riding on this first venture.
It also remains to be seen how many other organizations will attempt operatic presentations at the Lyric. A troupe from Eastern Europe is expected to offer up to three staged productions next season, while the recently formed Baltimore Concert Opera has been talking about expanding in the future from its current small-scale base at the Engineers Club to a larger one at the Lyric.
Meanwhile, the arrival of Washington National Opera promises to provide a welcome jolt to Baltimore's music scene during a recession-battered season.
In statements released late Tuesday, Washington Opera's general director, famed tenor Plácido Domingo thanked "the Lyric Opera House board for the gracious invitation to perform a concert version of Turandot ... [T]his concert will be a celebration of great opera in Baltimore.”
From Sandy Richmond, the Lyric's executive director: "The Lyric has a decades-long tradition of hosting opera of the highest quality, and we’re proud to continue that tradition with WNO. ”
And from WNO executive director Mark Weinstein. “Washington National Opera wants to do everything within our power to keep the tradition of world-class opera alive for our neighbors in Baltimore.”
Turandot will be performed at 7:30 p.m. June 2 at the Lyric. Tickets are $40-$100. Call 410-900-1150 or 410-547-7328, or go to ticketmaster.com.