2017 Festival will celebrate the 225th anniversary of the birth of Gioachino Rossini; Inside the Opera Studio series also announced

WILMINGTON, Del. – OperaDelaware today announced that ticket sales for its 2017 Spring Opera Festival are running more than 75% ahead of last year’s box office numbers at this time, demonstrating that interest in the company’s offerings is growing after last spring’s successful festival. Sales for the 2017 festival began in September, and good seats are still available. Tickets range from $29 to $99 and are available for purchase at or by calling 302-442-7807.

In Spring 2017, OperaDelaware will return to The Grand Opera House to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the birth of Gioachino Rossini. The festival opens with Semiramide on April 29 at 7:30 p.m. and closes with a second performance on May 7 at 2 p.m. The company will also present two performances of Cinderella (La Cenerentola), the first on April 30 at 2 p.m. and the second on May 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Last season’s pairing of the East Coast Premiere of Franco Faccio’s Hamlet (Amleto) and Verdi’s beloved Falstaff was a winning formula that attracted over 800 patrons from outside a 30-mile radius of Wilmington and over 1,300 first-time patrons. This year’s pairing of Cinderella (La Cenerentola) and Rossini’s rarely performed drama Semiramide aim to continue raising the company’s profile.

“Two years ago, the Longwood Foundation provided transformational support that allowed OperaDelaware to shift its focus and make Delaware a destination for opera lovers,” said General Director Brendan Cooke. “The unprecedented media coverage and rave reviews of last year’s festival meant that we’d have to follow up with something truly stunning—and we have. Our festival model has succeeded in shining a light on Wilmington and all of our incredible cultural assets. We look forward to continued audience growth from both locals and opera fans from all over the world.”

Semiramide is based on Voltaire’s tragedy, Semiramis. Written in 1823, Rossini’s final Italian opera is about a power-hungry Babylonian Queen who murdered her husband. This rarely-performed tour de force is a sumptuous masterpiece, perfectly suited to the intimacy and extraordinary acoustics of The Grand Opera House.  

Susannah Biller stars in the title role. She has been praised for her “incandescent, exquisitely supple soprano” (Dallas Morning News) and her “light, sweet lyric voice and coloratura agility” (Chicago Tribune).

Aleksandra Romano, who has sung with the Portland Opera and Washington National Opera, is Arsace. Timothy Augustin is Idreno and Daniel Mobbs is Assur. Maestro Anthony Barrese, who led the OperaDelaware orchestra in last season’s Hamlet, will conduct. Dean Anthony(L’Elisir d’amore, 2012; Falstaff, 2016) returns to direct. The opera is sung in Italian with projected English supertitles.

Composed 200 years ago, Rossini’s setting of Cinderella (La Cenerentola) has stood the test of time. Glass slippers are replaced with bracelets in this captivating opera. While there’s no fairy godmother in Rossini’s story, there’s still a healthy dose of step-sisterly mischief that ends in a happily ever after.   

Pennsylvania native Megan Marino sings the title role. Her recent appearances include the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, and Caramoor Music Festival. Tenor Jack Swanson will sing the role of Prince Ramiro; and two standouts from last year’s performances of Falstaff will round out the cast—Steven Condy as Don Magnifico and Sean Anderson as Dandini. Cinderella (La Cenerentola) will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. A. Scott Parry will direct, and Michael Borowitz will conduct the OperaDelaware orchestra.

Inside the Opera Studio Performances Begin Oct. 21

One may not frequently use the words sandwiches and sopranos in the same sentence, but OperaDelaware has found a way to do it. In its Best of bel canto performances (Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 23 at 2 p.m.) concert goers can purchase a Casapulla’s sandwich and a glass of wine or beer on site at the OperaDelaware studio, then tuck in for an evening of beautiful singing (the literal meaning of bel canto). Soprano Francesca Mondanaro, Mezzo-Soprano Chrystal E. Williams, Tenor William Davenport, and Bass-Baritone Daniel Mobbs will bring to life the repertoire of Donizetti and Bellini, in a singing style which prioritizes the beauty of the sound above all else. Limited seats remain for the 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 23.

On Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 22 at 2 p.m., OperaDelaware presents Devils, Drunks and Dastardly Dudes. These performances feature OperaDelaware favorites Ben Wager, Grant Youngblood, Alok Kumar, and Martin Hargrove. Ride along as these singers take the audience on an operatic journey of men behaving badly.

Not to be outdone by the boys, Ladies’ Night will close out this season’s Inside the Opera Studio series. Colleen Daly, Rachele Gilmore, Janara Kellerman, and Felicia Moore return to Wilmington for an elegant celebration of the female voice. Performances will be held on March 3 at 7:30 p.m., and on March 5 at 2 p.m. (Spoiler Alert! OperaDelaware fans will discover that not all sopranos are created equal–come see who can sing the highest, lowest, loudest, and longest!)

The incomparable Jeffrey Miller will accompany all of the Inside the Opera Studio performances, providing his always enlightening commentary. All performances take place at the OperaDelaware studios, 4 S. Poplar St. in Wilmington. Ticket prices range from $29-$65. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 302-442-7807.

“Whether you’re new to opera or a lifelong fan, there’s something for everyone this season,” Cooke said. “We look forward to reuniting with old friends, welcoming back patrons who discovered us last year, and winning new fans with our innovative-yet-approachable lineup.”


Inside the Opera Studio - “Best of bel canto” 
Friday, October 21, 2016, 7:30 PM
Sunday, October 23, 2016, 2:00 PM

Inside the Opera Studio - “Devils, Drunks & Dastardly Dudes”
Friday, January 20, 2017, 7:30 PM
Sunday, January 22, 2017, 2:00 PM

Inside the Opera Studio - “Ladies’ Night”
Friday, March 3, 2017, 7:30 PM
Sunday, March 5, 2017, 2:00 PM

Grand Opera Festival - Rossini’s Semiramide
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 7:30 PM
Sunday, May 7, 2017, 2:00 PM

Grand Opera Festival - Rossini’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola)
Sunday, April 30, 2017, 2:00 PM
Saturday, May 6, 2017, 7:30 PM

From left to right:   SEMIRAMIDE's    SUSANNAH BILLER    and   cinderella's  megan marino

From left to right: SEMIRAMIDE's SUSANNAH BILLER  and cinderella's megan marino


OperaDelaware celebrates its 72nd season in 2016-2017. OperaDelaware is the nation's 11th oldest professional opera company. Our mission is to enrich the lives of people in the Mid-Atlantic region through meaningful arts education and the production of grand opera and intimate opera concerts, featuring established professional and emerging talent.

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