skip navigation | text only | accessibility | site map

Opera House

This content requires Macromedia Flash Player version 5 or higher. Get Flash

View non-Flash version

Hold the mouse down and move the cursor on the picture above to see a 360 degree view.

The Opera House is the second-largest theater in the Center, with 2,362 seats. It was designed for ballet, opera, and musical theater. Over the years, the Opera House has welcomed dozens of the world's great dance and opera companies and has hosted some of the most important artistic events of the last quarter century. With its distinctive red and gold chandelier, a gift from Austria, the Opera House makes an elegant setting for the annual Kennedy Center Honors, the nation's highest award for lifetime achievement in the arts.

Coming to the Opera House :

Image for Washington National Opera: <i>The Magic Flute</i>

Washington National Opera: The Magic Flute


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's
The Magic Flute
(Die Zauberflöte)
Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
New production
Co-production with San Francisco Opera Association, Opera Omaha, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Opera Carolina
A prince's quest leads to love at first sight--but to prove his worth in marriage, he must first survive trials of wisdom and devotion. Lost in a faraway land, young Tamino is enlisted by the Queen of the Night to rescue her lovely daughter Pamina from the hands of Sarastro, an evil sorcerer. With the aid of a magic flute and the bumbling, lovelorn Papageno by his side, Tamino sets out on a fantastic adventure filled with danger and temptation, culminating in one final test at a mystical temple.
Mozart's final opera, The Magic Flute is simultaneously a delightful fairy tale and a profound reflection on spiritual enlightenment. Sung in English--and featuring a colorful kaleidoscope of sets and costumes by Japanese American artist Jun Kaneko--it's also a perfect opera for the entire family. American director Harry Silverstein, whose The Marriage of Figaro wowed WNO audiences in 2010, directs an attractive young cast, many in their WNO debuts. Conducted by WNO Music Director Philippe Auguin, this "zesty and imaginative new production" (San Francisco Chronicle) is guaranteed to captivate audiences of all ages.
"A feast for the eyes, a feast for the ears… a masterpiece of conception and execution!"
--Opera Today

The Queen of the Night: Kathryn Lewek (5/3, 8, 11, 18), Anna Siminska (5/5, 7, 10, 15, 17)
Pamina: Eri Nakamura (5/5, 7, 10, 17), Maureen McKay (5/3, 8, 11, 15, 18)
Tamino: Joseph Kaiser (5/3, 8, 11, 15, 18), Paul Appleby (5/5, 7, 10, 17)
Papageno: Joshua Hopkins (5/3, 8, 11, 15, 18), David Pershall (5/5, 7, 10, 17)
Sarastro: Soloman Howard (5/5, 7, 10, 17), Jordan Bisch (5/3, 8, 11, 15, 18)

Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Performance: Fri., May 16 at 7:30 p.m. Cast for this performance:
Shantelle Przybylo as Pamina; Patrick O'Halloran as Tamino; Kathryn Lewek as Queen of the Night; Norman Garrett as Papageno; David Pittsinger as Sprecher; Soloman Howard as Sarastro; Jacqueline Echols as 1st Lady; Sarah Mesko as 2nd Lady; Deborah Nansteel as 3rd Lady; John Easterlin as Monostatos; Corey Evan Rotz as 1st Priest; James Shaffran as 2nd Priest; Yi Li as 1st Armed Man; Wei Wu as 2nd Armed Man. 

Conductor: Philippe Auguin
Director: Harry Silverstein
Lighting Designer: Paul Pyant
Set & Costume Designer: Jun Kaneko
Adaptation: Kelley Rourke

Performed in English with projected English titles. Titles may not be visible from the rear of the orchestra.


Musicologist Saul Lilienstein leads the Thursday, May 8 Opera Insight, starting 1 hour and 15 minutes before the performance and lasting 35–40 minutes. All other Opera Insights start 1 hour before the performance and last 20–25 minutes.Informative and entertaining, Opera Insights take you inside the composer's mind, behind the scenes of planning a production, and into the history and social context of each opera.
These lectures are free, but patrons must present a ticket from any performance of The Magic Flute.

Following these performances:
Monday evening, May 5
Sunday matinees, May 11 & 18
Join WNO artists for a unique opportunity to ask questions about the production.
All discussions begin immediately after the performance and are free with your ticket.

Apr. 9–May 19 in the Hall of Nations, 10 a.m. until closing
Experience more of Kaneko's artistry in this exhibition of ceramic sculptures from his series of HEADS, Dangos, and Tanuki.


Performance Timing: Act I - 74 min.; Intermission - 20 min.; Act II - 89 min. (Approx. 3 hours)