The Kennedy Center

Washington National Opera



Biography

Founded in 1956 as a modest but intrepid ensemble known as the Opera Society of Washington, Washington National Opera (WNO) is today one of America’s largest opera companies. WNO draws inspiration from a rich legacy built on the values of artistic excellence, engagement with a broad community, and a thriving future for the art form of opera and its audiences. As an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, WNO performs fall and spring seasons in the 2,200-seat Kennedy Center Opera House. WNO also offers performances on Millennium Stage and at other venues at the Center and throughout the city, and offers training, educational, and enrichment programs year-round.

Watch Past Performances

Video 11/30/2017: Honors Tribute: The Me I Want to Sing

ON MILLENNIUM STAGE

A selection of opera legend Marian Anderson’s most memorable pieces woven together with spoken word, which explores the challenges of African American performers and more broadly, race in America.

Featuring Leah Hawkins (pictured), Dana Kristina-Joi Morgan, and Laree Simon.

Video 4/30/2017: Washington National Opera

Singers from Washington National Opera will preview its upcoming mainstage production of Madame Butterfly, which will be performed in the Kennedy Center Opera House May 6–May 21.

Video 2/13/2017: Washington National Opera

Washington National Opera gives a preview performance of their latest production, Champion. The opera is based on the life of boxer Emile Griffith, and was composed by Terence Blanchard and libretto by Michael Cristofer. Griffith, a closeted gay man during the early 1960s who killed his opponent in the ring after receiving taunts for his sexuality. Champion will be performed by an all American cast, featuring D.C. legend Denyce Graves, in the Kennedy Center Opera House March 4–18.

Video 12/15/2016: Washington National Opera

Singers from Washington National Opera present a holiday show of classic carols and traditional Christmas songs.

Video 10/31/2016: Washington National Opera Preview: The Daughter of the Regiment

Cast members from Washington National Opera perform selections from Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment.

Video 5/12/2016: WNO's Ring Company in Concert

WNO’s Ring Company in Concert: Artists in Washington National Opera’s Ring cycle showcase a variety of repertoire beyond the Ring in this special concert with piano.

Video 4/28/2016: WNO Preview: Siegfried and Twilight of the Gods

Join cast members of Washington National Opera's The Ring for musical excerpts from Siegfried and Twilight of the Gods, combined with narration highlighting the opera’s story and background.

Video 4/26/2016: WNO Preview: The Rhinegold and The Valkyrie

Join cast members of Washington National Opera’s The Ring for musical excerpts from The Rhinegold and The Valkyrie, combined with narration highlighting the opera’s story and background.

Video 2/9/2016: Washington National Opera: Lost in the Stars Preview

WNO Preview: Members of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program offer a preview performance of the company’s upcoming production, Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars (Feb. 12–20 in the Eisenhower Theater).

Video 10/29/2015: Washington National Opera: Appomattox Preview

Members of the WNO Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program perform songs and readings from both the Civil War and Civil Rights Era, and an excerpt from the acclaimed opera to be performed in the Opera House November 14–22.

Opera House