The Nashville Opera's next season draws from three centuries of music making and runs the gamut of operatic storytelling, from fanciful escapism to serious treatment of pressing social issues. Here's a look at what's on offer:
October 4 & 6 La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi
The season opens with a bittersweet masterpiece, Verdi's adaptation of an Alexandre Dumas novel. The beautiful Violetta checks off all of the classic boxes for a grand opera heroine; from the start we know she's dying of consumption, but even so she manages to fall in love and find herself at the center of intense drama.
November 9 - 11 Three Decembers by Jake Heggie
The midseason show at the Noah Liff Opera Center is often reserved for thought-provoking contemporary pieces. This one, by one of the most prominent composers writing opera today, drops in on a family during the holiday season in three different decades. Secrets are revealed and connections tested as the AIDs crisis unfolds in 1986, 1996 and 2006. The opera is based on an unpublished script by Terrence McNally.
April 4 & 6 Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach
A poet searching for the perfect woman falls for a lifelike automaton, rediscovers a long-lost-love, and is seduced by a beautiful courtesan in a series of vignettes based on E.T.A. Hoffman (The Nutcracker) stories. The Nashville Opera will mount an Art Deco take on this mid-19th century opera fantastique.
May 10-12 The Cradle Will Rock by Marc Blitzstein
This jazz opera about union steelworkers and greedy bosses debuted in 1937 under a cloud of controversy. It was funded by the WPA, which shut down production a few days before opening night out of fear that the social commentary was too radical, but director Orson Welles rented another theater to give it a premiere, with the cast singing from the audience in order not to break union rules. The Nashville Opera promises to keep the drama onstage, but hints their production still "might stir up a little controversy."