Met Opera Radio Commentators Come to Wilmington for Spring 2017 Festival Lectures; Talks Designed for Pros and Newcomers Alike

WILMINGTON, Del. WILMINGTON, Del.– Two experts known for their clear, concise commentary on opera will be in Wilmington during the weekends of Apr. 29 and May 6 to provide audiences with the full inside scoop on OPERADELAWARE’s Spring 2017 Festival presentations of Rossini’s Semiramide and La Cenerentola (Cinderella). 

The Festival begins with Semiramide on Sat., Apr. 29 at 7:30 p.m. A second performance is scheduled for Sun. May 7 at 2 p.m. La Cenerentola will be performed on Sun., Apr. 30 at 2 p.m. and Sat., May 6 at 7:30 p.m. In addition, a performance of the Petite messe solennelle will be offered on May 5, at 7:30 p.m. All performances will be held at The Grand Opera House in downtown Wilmington. Festival tickets start at $29 and can be purchased at or by calling OperaDelaware’s box office at 302-442-7807. 

Cori Ellison, professor of Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School, will lead audiences on a deep dive into Rossini’s creation of the two operas at pre-show lectures during the first week of the Festival (April 29 & 30). A respected dramaturg, Ellison has advised the New York City Opera and the production of Verdi’s “Ring” Cycle at the Washington National Opera, among others. She writes on opera regularly for The New York Times, and has contributed to numerous books on the art form, ranging from The New Grove Dictionary of Opera to The Compleat Mozart. Ellison has conducted lectures on opera worldwide and has served on the faculty of The Juilliard School since 2014.

William Berger, an author, radio music host and commentator, explores the history of Semiramide and La Cenerentola in pre-show lectures during the second weekend of the Spring Festival (May 6 & 7). He has previously worked for the San Francisco Opera and is the author of three books, Wagner Without Fear, Verdi with a Vengeance, and Puccini Without Excuses. A respected opera lecturer worldwide, Berger has recently been a regular host for New York Public Radio’s Overnight Music and for WNYC radio.

The pre-performance lectures will take place in the Wesler Room on the lower level of The Grand and will begin one hour before curtain. The lectures are FREE, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes prior to the lectures, as seats fill up quickly.

“Will and Cori are celebrated throughout the opera world, and their voices are instantly recognized by opera fans who tune in to Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS/XM,” said Brendan Cooke, OperaDelaware’s general director. “Will is a frequent host of the broadcasts, and Cori often appears as a contributor. If you don’t know much about opera – or if you’re a seasoned pro – come to these lectures. Will and Cori are great at analyzing opera in a way that makes the performances even richer and more enjoyable.”


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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