Michigan Opera Theatre postpones first performance of new season by a month

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

The Michigan Opera Theatre is pushing back the first performance of its 2021-2022 season in part to give patrons more time to get vaccinated.

A concert version of "Cavalleria rusticana," originally planned for May 15, will now be performed June 12 at Meadow Brook Amphitheatre. The later date will take advantage of more favorable weather conditions but also allow patrons more time to get vaccinated, said opera theatre officials on Thursday.

“We may be postponing out of abundance of caution for our artists and audiences, but I am happy to say that our sensational cast will all be able to join us for the new performance date of Saturday, June 12,” Artistic Director Yuval Sharon said. 

"Cavalleria rusticana" will include Detroit Symphony Orchestra Music Director Jader Bignamini who will conduct the MOT orchestra and the opera theatre's Associate Artistic Director Christine Goerke.

Yuval Sharon, the newly appointed Michigan Opera Theatre artistic director, poses for a portrait at the Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit.

In late March, the MOT announced the lineup for its 2021-2022 season. Following "Cavalleria rusticana," "Blue," a new opera that follows a modern-day Black family in Harlem whose New York Police Officer officer father and socially conscious and politically active son navigate the complex and nuanced struggles of being Black in America, is planned for Sept. 11-12.

The other is BLISS, a re-creation of Ragnar Kjartansson's performance based on Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" and re-staged by Sharon. Dates are to be determined.

The second half of the season will begin with a return to MOT's original performance space, Music Hall in Detroit. The first performance will be Migdalia Cruz's "Frida," scheduled for Feb. 26-27, 2022. And then in April, MOT will return to the Detroit Opera House with a new production of Giacomo Puccini's "La bohème," led by Sharon and co-produced with Boston Lyric Opera.

"La bohème" will mark the first in-person opera performance at the Detroit Opera House in more than two years.