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Opera in a Time of #MeToo

The Washington Chorus
Event organized by The Washington Chorus

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The #MeToo movement is giving voice to people who once remained silent out of shame and fear. It’s also changing and challenging long-tolerated attitudes, behaviors, and perspectives. As the movement permeates social discourse and the business world, how is it changing the arts? More specifically, how is it changing opera, an art form that incorporates a wide range of disciplines including music, theater, literature, stage design, and costuming?

For centuries the title roles of the world’s most popular operas have been subjected to reprehensible behavior including sexual and emotional abuse, rape, and murder, all in service to plots written by men. In a moment of cultural upheaval and changing mores, in a time of #MeToo, what are the challenges of presenting and performing in operas like Carmen, Tosca, and Madame Butterfly?

Join us for a thought-provoking discussion featuring experts from both sides of the orchestra pit:

Jenny Bilfield, President & CEO of Washington Performing Arts
Kim Witman, Vice President, Opera and Classical Programming,
Wolf Trap Opera
Anne Midgette, Chief Classical Music Critic of The Washington Post
Danielle Talamantes, Soprano
Madison Leonard, Soprano
Leah Hawkins, Soprano
Andrea Dorf McGray, Stage Director
Anne-Carolyn Bird, Soprano, Washington National Opera

Pictured top row (L to R): Jenny Bilfield, Anne Midgette, Madison Leonard.
Bottom row (L to R): Danielle Talamantes, Kim Witman, Andrea Dorf McGray

This discussion is part of Music in Our Time, an ongoing discussion presented by The Washington Chorus in tandem with its performances.

The Washington Chorus is performing Carmen in Concert at the Kennedy on April 21st, 2:00 PM, at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall with the Washington National Opera Orchestra led by Christopher Bell, Artistic Director of The Washington Chorus, featuring soloists Aleks Romano (Carmen), Chaz’men Williams-Ali (Don José), Hunter Enoch (Escamillo), Raquel González (Micaela), and Hannah Hagerty (Frasquita).