Kentucky Opera is excited to announce their 2020-2021 season with three productions that celebrate the importance of friendship and community. The productions are La bohème September 11 & 13, Hansel & Gretel October 30 & November 1 and O+E February 12 & 14.

All of the performances will be at the Brown Theatre and will feature projected English captions, and audio descriptions will be available at the matinée performances.

The 20/21 season begins with Kentucky Opera’s second annual Open House at the Brown Theatre. This free-of-charge event on June 14 will feature fun for all ages with engaging activities, backstage tours, performances, and a peek at the upcoming season. On the mainstage, the opera continues to humanize the art form with three productions that celebrate the importance of friendship and community. In its second season, the Awakenings series will continue to partner with social service organizations to explore the connection of the operas’ themes to our society today with arts-centered conversations. The Awakenings panel discussions are designed to open our eyes to the world around us by challenging tradition, questioning social narratives and inviting varied perspectives.

The company will continue to tour schools throughout the entire Commonwealth and Southern Indiana with student-centered programming that supports the curriculum with Opera Time, an early literacy program for ages 3-8 that encourages learning through the musical and dramatic play, and school touring performances designed especially for elementary school audiences. Overture guides Middle and High School groups as they explore the magic and creativity of the theatre behind-the-scenes. Financial assistance is available for schools and community groups. Regardless of age, background, or financial resources, this season offers anyone opportunities to experience the thrill of opera theatre.

“Kentucky Opera is deliberately producing opera that resonates with audiences today. Many of the greatest works — new or historical — have universal themes that connect us; ideals that elevate us beyond mere entertainment and into the artistic realm,” said General Director Barbara Lynne Jamison. “Theatre has always endeavored to provoke thought and civic action, while stirring our emotions. Through gorgeous music and poignant drama, the operas this season, in conjunction with our Awakenings series, will serve as a springboard to fulfill this centuries-old objective in a 21st Century way.”

La Bohème September 11 & 13, 2020

La bohème
Picture it: Paris. 1830. A chance encounter ignites a romance for the ages between the seamstress Mimì (soprano Shannon Jennings) and the poet Rodolfo (tenor Kang Wang). Meanwhile, Marcello (baritone Jorell Williams) is falling back into the arms of the lovely and vivacious Musetta (soprano Flora Wall). La bohème follows these couples and their friends as they bond together to create a family who would do anything for each other. For over a century, audiences have been moved by Puccini’s opera of friendship and sacrifice that inspired the Tony Award®-winning Rent. Stage director Brenna

Corner leads an all-star cast, many of whom are making their Kentucky Opera debuts. This perennial favorite, conducted by Kentucky Opera’s artistic advisor Joseph Mechavich, kicks off the season in September.

Hansel and Gretel – October 30 & November 1

Hansel and Gretel
This coming Halloween weekend, Kentucky Opera brings the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale to life onstage for the entire family with Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. The two hungry siblings, Hansel (mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O’Connell) and Gretel (soprano Ashley Emerson), find themselves lost in the woods searching for supper when they happen upon the gingerbread house of their dreams. But it’s too good to be true. See what happens when these two young people rely on their wits — and each other — to outsmart the Evil Witch and free the other children (Kentucky Opera’s Youth Opera Chorus). This engaging new production is conducted by Elizabeth Askren, in her Kentucky Opera debut, and directed by John de los Santos.

O+E – February 12 & 14, 2021

The season continues with a fresh staging of O+E, Christoph Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, starring mezzo soprano Catherine Martin (Kentucky Opera’s Enemies, A Love Story) as O. Stage director Kelly Kitchens (Kentucky Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro) returns with a groundbreaking retelling of the classic Greek myth in Kentucky Opera’s collaboration with Louisville Ballet. When E (soprano Flora Wall) is in danger of dying, O can’t escape her memories of the best — and the worst — days of the life they’ve shared. O is willing to go to hell and back to save the one she loves. Will she be able to bring E safely back? Can Love (soprano Catherine Goode) save her? Conducted by Judith Yan in her Kentucky Opera debut.

Season tickets are on sale now. 2020/21 subscription package prices are $110 – $260 for a 3-opera package. Season ticket holders get the best seats in the house at a savings of up to 25% over individual ticket prices. Renewing and new subscribers are able to purchase their season tickets at 2019/20 prices until February 17, 2020. Prices will increase after this date. Kentucky Opera also offers deeply discounted packages for students with a valid I.D. (limitations may apply) and for young professionals ages 21-39 who join YPOP.

New this year! New subscribers can purchase a 4-show season subscription package that includes The Marriage of Figaro — happening February 14 & 16, 2020 — in addition to the Brown-Forman 2020/21 Season operas all at the subscriber discounted price.

To become a season ticket holder, visit or call 502-584-4500. Single tickets will go on sale to the public at a later date.

Kentucky Opera offers the opportunities to learn more about the art form and each specific opera with Opera Talks. One hour prior to each performance, Kentucky Opera presents a pre-show lecture, offering historical context, character analysis, and in-depth discussion about the opera in order for patrons to thoroughly enjoy their experience.

Currently in its 68th season of production, Kentucky Opera was founded in 1952 and designated the State Opera of Kentucky in 1982. The mission of Kentucky Opera is Enrich and engage our community through spectacular music, creative storytelling and the thrill of the human voice. Follow the Kentucky Opera on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, supports Kentucky Opera with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.