We spent this past Sunday wooed (and threatened, and pleaded to—there were a lot of emotions) by the talented Minnesota Opera Artists in Residence at the opera’s season preview, featuring seven poised and polished singers and three equally poised and polished pianists.

It was an excellent sampler, featuring a dozen-odd selections from upcoming performances and bookended by a good day and farewell from the Ordway’s beautifully mustachioed doorman. Here’s a run-down of what really pricked our ears for the season:

  1. Preview performances were accompanied by a lone piano, but the three alternating pianists shared the bench and played the same piano simultaneously in order to give as full a rendition as possible of The Barber of Seville’s overture. This tees us up for what should be a pretty witty production.
  2. Soprano Sabine Hogrefe joined the artists in residence to sing a monologue from Elektra—she comes with a lauded resume, having recently played the same titular role at the Metropolitan Opera. Elektra demands an orchestra twice as big as the Ordway can accommodate, so the MN Opera has finagled a way to seat them all on the stage itself, amidst the performers.
  3. The MN Opera has Don Giovanni lined up for its final production, but they’re taking a new tact on the story that, by and large, chronicles one of the most misogynist characters in opera lore. The production is being planned almost entirely by women, including stage director Keturah Stickann, conductor Karen Kamensek, and Chief Production Officer Karen Quisenberry to let Don Giovanni’s lead women tell the story their way.

Interested in catching some of the season? Things kick off with Richard Strauss’s Elektra this weekend. Grab tickets here.