Washington National Opera

American Opera Initiative: Three New 20-Minute Operas

Terrace Theater

Catch a glimpse into the future of opera! Three world premiere short operas will be staged in a concert performance, accompanied by a small chamber orchestra and followed by a Q&A with the artists and creative team.

Fri. Jan. 10, 2020

  • Fri. Jan. 10, 2020 7p.m.

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  • Fri. Jan. 10, 2020 9p.m.

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    MyTix Student Rush

  • Genre


  • Price Range

    $19.00 – $35.00

  • Runtime

    Approx. 1 hour


Two shows in the Terrace Theater

Three world premiere short operas will be staged in a concert performance, accompanied by a small chamber orchestra comprised of WNO Orchestra musicians. The second performance will be followed by a Post-Performance Artist Q&A with the artists and creative team. Each opera will be performed in English and highlight a very different aspect of American life and culture. Among the casts will be WNO's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists.

“Short-form chamber opera appears to be the wave of operatic future,” said the Washington Post about our 2015 world premiere presentations. "The young members of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program did themselves proud."


WNO’s acclaimed commissioning program for contemporary American opera enters its eighth exciting season, this season showcasing three new 20-minute operas. Our Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists and other talented performers will be featured, guided by program director Robert Ainsley. Award-winning composer Laura Kaminsky, acclaimed librettist Kelley Rourke, and renowned conductor Anne Manson will be the mentors for the AOI 20-Minute Operas. Complete casts and creative teams to be announced at a later date.


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. Throughout their training, the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists are featured prominently in WNO performances.


Pre- and Post-Show Events

Come early for free opera insights

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 Tosca.

Most Opera Insights begin 1 hour before the performance and last 20–25 minutes. Musicologist Saul Lilienstein's Opera Insights, scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, begins 1 hour and 15 minutes before the performance and last 35–40 minutes.

Post-performance Talkbacks with the Artists

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.

Three 20-Minute Operas Artist Q&A Date:
Sat., Jan. 10; following the 9 p.m. performance only


Support the Arts in America

The Kennedy Center is a non-profit institution, and your tax-deductible gift helps expand our arts and education offerings throughout the country.

Donate Today

Major support for WNO is provided by Jacqueline Badger Mars.

David M. Rubenstein is the Presenting Underwriter of WNO.

WNO acknowledges the longstanding generosity of Life Chairman Mrs. Eugene B. Casey.

WNO's Presenting Sponsor


The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is made possible through the generous support of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, with additional funding provided by Susan Carmel, Judy and Billy Cox, Robert and Lynn Downing, Carl M. Freeman Foundation, Virginia McGehee Friend, Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey P. Pohanka, Mr. Alan J. Savada and Mr. Will Stevenson, Washington National Opera Council, and The Women’s Committee of Washington National Opera.

Terms and Conditions

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!

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