Arts

Artistic Risks Pay Off For Atlanta Opera

Ensemble in the Minnesota Opera production of Silent Night.
Ensemble in the Minnesota Opera production of Silent Night.
Credit MICHAL DANIEL

The opera scene in Atlanta is evolving, growing and blossoming. That’s largely thanks to one company, the Atlanta Opera, and their general and artistic director Tomer Zvulun.

When he took over the troupe in 2013, Zvulun told Lois Reitzes that his mantra has been to “increase the artistic risk and lower the financial risk.” That meant pairing familiar opera favorites with new, visually-stunning interpretations. 

Off the main stage, Zvulun added one or two productions of adventurous but small chamber operas. 

The risks paid off. Atlanta was hungrier for more, and more diverse, opera. 

For the 2016-2017 season, the Atlanta Opera offers four mainstage productions: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” Kevin Puts’ “Silent Night,” Gaetano Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale,” and  Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot.”

The “Discoveries Series” continues with new “immersive, site-specific” productions of smaller-scale operatic gems: Piazzolla’s “María de Buenos Aires” and Mozart’s “The Secret Gardener,” Zvulun said.

He added that these shorter operas “allow opera lovers to be exposed to operas they’ve never seen or heard before.”

So is Zvulun hopeful about the growth and appeal of opera in Atlanta? “Absolutely.”

The Atlanta Opera‘s next production is “The Pirates of Penzance,” which opens March 5 at 8 p.m. followed by Charles Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet,” which begins May 7 at 8 p.m. 

The 2016-2017 season launches in October.