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Washington National Opera: Taking Up Serpents, a New Hour-Long Opera, part of the American Opera Initiative Festival

Friday, January 11, 2019 - Sunday, January 13, 2019

Washington National Opera

This world premiere is the story of 25-year-old Kayla, the estranged daughter of a fire-and-brimstone preacher who is dangerously bitten by one of his own snakes. Kayla’s journey home forces her to confront her troubled upbringing.

Price

$35 - $45

Run Time

Approx. 1 hour

About

Catch a glimpse into the future of opera!

Taking Up Serpents
New Hour-Long Opera
Part of the American Opera Initiative Festival


For their second operatic collaboration, “strikingly original” (The New York Times) composer Kamala Sankaram and award-winning librettist Jerre Dye reunite to create an engrossing tale exploring the controversial world of religious snake-handling. Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya, Music Director of Chicago Opera Theater, makes her WNO debut.

In Taking Up Serpents, 25-year-old Kayla is the estranged daughter of a fire-and-brimstone preacher who is dangerously bitten by one of his own snakes. Kayla’s journey home forces her to confront her troubled upbringing. With a score showcasing Sankaram’s deft stylistic eclecticism and an original story inspired by Dye’s roots in the Deep South, Taking Up Serpents calls into question faith, family, and destiny, with shocking results.

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MORE ABOUT THE AMERICAN OPERA INITIATIVE FESTIVAL
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WNO’s acclaimed commissioning program for contemporary American opera enters its seventh exciting season, once again featuring four world premieres across a single weekend. Our Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists and other talented performers will be featured throughout the festival, guided by program director Robert Ainsley. Award-winning composer Jake Heggie, acclaimed composer and librettist Gene Scheer, and renowned conductor Steven Osgood will be the mentors for the 2018–2019 AOI 20 Minute Operas. Complete casts and creative teams to be announced at a later date.

“WNO’s American Opera Initiative is an exciting and positive leap forward in the trajectory of American opera: keeping it fresh, energized, bold, and current.”
—Jake Heggie


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MORE ABOUT THE DOMINGO-CAFRITZ YOUNG ARTISTS
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Founded by Plácido Domingo in 2002 and currently guided by Robert Ainsley, this leading resident-training program cultivates promising young singers and accompanists on the verge of international careers, with many graduates going on to perform in the world’s top opera houses.

Acclaimed bass-baritone Alan Held will be the 2018–2019 Artist-in-Residence for the Domingo- Cafritz Young Artist Program. His expert mentorship will include leading individual coaching sessions, presenting group classes on a variety of repertoire, and hosting career roundtable discussions.
Throughout their training, the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists are featured prominently in WNO performances.

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POST-PERFORMANCE TALKBACKS WITH THE ARTISTS
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Don't miss your opportunity to engage directly with our artists and share your thoughts on the experience you just had! Here's your chance to ask questions and get the inside scoop on the production from members of the cast and creative team. 
All discussions begin immediately after the performance and are free with your ticket.

Taking Up Serpents Talkback Dates:
Friday, Jan. 11 & Sunday, Jan. 13
 

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All events and artists subject to change without prior notice.
All ticket prices are subject to change based on demand. Purchase early to lock in prices and the best seats!