Arts and Culture

The Kentucky Opera announced their 2017-2018 season on Tuesday.

“The three operas that we have picked for 17-18 are ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’ by Richard Strauss, ‘Dead Man Walking’ by Jake Heggie, and ‘The Barber of Seville’ by Rossini,” says Ian Derrer, Kentucky Opera’s general director.

The productions span over three centuries of dramatic variety and are sung in German, English, and Italian.

“You have something in 1800s, you have something in the early 1900s and you have something that is contemporary,” Derrer says. “So, it’s not the widest swath of musical variety, but it is a big, big change from piece to piece that you will experience.”

The season will premiere on Sept. 15 with “Ariadne auf Naxos,” conducted by Principal Conductor, Joseph Mechavich, and directed by Chas Rader-Shieber.

Sung in English and German, this glimpse of backstage life will debut Grammy award-winning soprano Christine Brewer as Ariadne, who has performed this role to great acclaim with the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Lyon, Théatre du Chatelet, Santa Fe Opera, English National Opera, and Opera Theater in St. Louis.

Kentucky Opera

In October, the Kentucky Opera will premiere “Dead Man Walking,” which is one of the most performed contemporary American operas. With libretto by Terrence McNally and based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean, the opera examines a nun’s relationship with a convicted murderer.

Ashlie Stevens |

The 66th Season will conclude with Rossini’s popular masterpiece, “The Barber of Seville,” sung in Italian. Not seen at Kentucky Opera in over 10 years, Rossini’s comedic work has some of the best-known operatic melodies (does the name “Figaro” sound familiar?). Making their Kentucky Opera debut, Conductor Robert Tweten and Director Matthew Ozawa will showcase The Barber of Seville on Feb 16 and 18.

Ashlie Stevens |

More information about the season can be found here.