Arts and Culture

Kentucky Opera is going back to the classics for its 2016-17 season, the company announced Wednesday.

Two of the most beloved, crowd-pleasing operas in the repertoire — both with a Japanese theme — will be presented alongside a lesser-known Mozart work that showcases vocal expertise.

Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” will lead off the season, sung in Italian with English supertitles. The story of an American sailor’s doomed love affair with a Japanese girl premiered at Milan’s La Scala in 1904.

“The Abduction from the Seraglio” is a relatively early Mozart opera (premiered in 1782) that features an “exotic” Turkish locale and a lighthearted feel. As a “singspiel,” the work includes spoken dialogue between the musical numbers; the singing will be in German with English supertitles and the dialogue will be spoken in English.

Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Mikado” wraps up the season. This comic opera, premiered in 1885, uses its Japanese setting to satirize British politics. The performance will be in English.   

The upcoming season will be the 65th anniversary of the company, and is the first season to be programmed by Artistic Director Joseph Mechavich, who will also conduct two of the operas.

The current season will conclude next month with Kern & Hammerstein’s “Showboat.”

(Image provided by Kentucky Opera)