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Cincinnati Opera brings Winter Festival to the small screen

Empty Music Hall
Posted at 7:26 AM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 07:47:45-05

CINCINNATI — Frigid temps and pandemic caution will keep most of us inside this weekend. The Cincinnati Opera is inviting you to cozy up with a free night at the opera from the comfort of your own home.

The Cincinnati Opera was forced to cancel their season last year due to the pandemic. So they decided to put together a free Winter Festival full of artist-driven performances that starts Friday.

Evans Mirageas, artistic director for the Cincinnati Opera, said the shift to a smaller stage has given the opera an opportunity to do something different.

“We wanted to offer some solace and some signal that we will perform again live, but for now, join us in doing something that we wouldn’t do in a normal opera season,” Mirageas said. “We rarely get to do these smaller pieces that are perfect for the screen.”

The festival consists of three productions that the opera has been working on for almost a year. The first one, which premieres Friday on the opera’s website, is called “Opera … from a Sistah’s Point of View.”

The second will be “After Aida,” which premieres on Feb. 19 and is based on Giuseppe Verdi who composed the iconic opera “Aida.”

The third is “Wanderlust,” which will be available March 5. Mirageas described it as a tale of ancient and exotic lands with “steamy, hot house music for the middle of winter.”

“It bypasses your intellect and goes straight to your heart,” Mirageas said. “You can get as brainy and as nerdy as you want about opera and many people do, including me, but it’s also that thrill that you get when you hear a great human voice that most of us can’t do and doing it with such great passion and commitment that it’ll make you an opera fan.”

The performances will all be pre-recorded and available with registration on the Cincinnati Opera website for free until the end of March.