2019-2020 Season


Our 2019-2020 season is called, with great INtention, LEAN INIt is an open invitation for you to be part of a new vision of your In Series as a change maker – as a force that is radically transforming perceptions of the “who”, “what”, “where”, and “why” of opera.

Below you’ll find productions that bear out the purpose behind this vision: innovative, immersive opera experiences that are at once surprising and captivating, community collaborative arts projects that touch on the deepest questions pulling at our hearts and souls today, new theatrical creations that reimagine how music and drama can intersect, an entire festival dedicated to magnifying often hidden voices in our art form.

Subscribe today and receive not only a 10%-15% percent savings over single ticket purchases, but also subscriber benefits including invitations to opening night receptions, priority seating, guided open rehearsals, and much more.

To subscribe today call our box-office at (202) 204-7763.

September 5 – 22, 2019
Source Theatre

INtimately experienced, Puccini’s classic is given new force in a theatre experience that reveals the raw humanity behind its epic score. Conceived and directed by In Series Artistic Director Timothy Nelson, this profoundly arresting new version, stripped of the distancing artifice and exoticism of the original, returns to the structure of the source play that inspired overwhelming music. Performed by two brilliant young casts, one in English and one Italian, audiences can choose how to witness this unique experience of breath-taking opera as intimately dynamic theater. Local composer and pianist Jessica Krash leads the performances. Ancillary events include a panel discussion on race and opera, and how to approach a problematic canon.

October 18 – 27,  2019
Sprenger Theatre, Atlas Center for the Performing Arts

INspired by Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST, the story of colonization and subjugation is retold from the perspective of Sycorax, mother of Caliban and mistress of Ariel. Given no voice in the original play, here she is given the agency to present her own journey. Told with the music of Billie Holiday (“My Man”, “Strange Fruit”, “Don’t Explain”, “God Bless the Child”) in a new poetic piece written by playwright Sybil Williams (“From U Street to the Cotton Club”, this world-premiere is set as a cabaret-club evening of song, word, and beat that explores the experience of peoples enslaved by privilege, race, domination, gender, and even love with its good intentions.  The production, directed by Alison Wong, features Michelle Rogers as Sycorax, Nigel Rowe in the travesty role of Ariel, and beatbox artist Shodekeh as Caliban.

December 7 – 14, 2019
Foundry United Methodist Church

IN collaboration with Foundry United Methodist Church, Berlioz’s grand oratorio is uniquely staged as a community exploration of human migration and the power of hospitality to those fleeing persecution. Performed in the stunning Foundry sanctuary, with the combined forces of its choir under the direction of Stanley Thurston, soloists, instrumentalists, and the historic organ, this holiday-time performance seeks out the nexus of art, faith, and social justice to ask the most essential human question of how we offer kindness to the “other”. Steven Scott Mazzola (Viva V.E.R.D.I. – The Promised End) and Timothy Nelson co-direct.

January 4 – 19, 2020
Source Theatre

IN your face: Bizet’s opera comes to life as never before in a unique and intimate tango-cabaret experience. As audiences sit at tables with performers, a tango-ensemble brings a beloved music to life up-close-and-personal, and the ultimate femme-fatale begins her intoxicating and immortal chanteuse performance. Performed in a breath-taking and unforgettable 90 minutes, an evening of laughter surrounds this darkly unfolding tragedy loved the world over. Featuring the More Tango Quartet and a cast led by Cara Gonzalez as Carmen and Alex Albuquerque as Escamillo, in an original production written and directed by Timothy Nelson.

March 6 – 8, 2020
Gala Hispanic Theatre

IN tune: A week-long festival of 5 unique operas and concerts of music by leading female composers, many living and local, is the culmination of months of sponsored concerts of music by women composers at Embassies and Cultural Institutes around Washington, DC.

The festival centers on two new stagings of operas by living composers. HERE BE SIRENS, by American composer Kate Soper, explores with wit, humor, and pathos, the experience of Homer’s Odyssean three singers as they search for the meaning of their own existence. ANA Y SU SUMBRA, by Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz, is a family opera that tells the story of a young girl whose family has moved from Mexico to the United States, and who wants to return while her shadow wishes to stay. The festival also includes an opening GALA CONCERT of semi-staged vocal works by living female composers, many local, a late night cabaret of music by American songbook writer DOROTHY FIELDS (“The Way you Look Tonight”, “On the Sunny Side of the Street”, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”), another late night performance of Canadian composer Ana Sokolovic’s LOVE SONGS, and the announcement of a major new In Series opera commission from a DC composer. Also featured will be panel discussions about the full inclusion of works by female composers into a newly defined cannon. This festival shows the expansive contributions of female creative artists throughout all the genres in which the In Series works, and seeks to reshape the way audiences, artists, and institutions perceive the “creator” in the operatic-arts.

Plus: In Series subscribers get to vote on a final production between…

April 4 – 19, 2020
Sprenger Theatre, Atlas Center for the Performing Arts


IN the age of #metoo, this story of resistance and survival rings with particular resonance. This new version combines Handel’s transcendent music with poetry of Kaitlin Rizzo exploring the life of baroque painter Artemesia Gentileschi. The voices and perspectives of our community’s survivors are folded into this staging of a seminal masterwork – with baroque orchestra, choir, and soloists – revealing the direct emotional force of ancient music and poetry


INnovatively staged as a night at the circus, the music and drama of Verdi’s vibrant and riveting score takes on an immediacy and power they rarely have, as love and vengeance collide under the big top. With a circus-organ ensemble and a circus-tent theater, it’s opera like you’ve never experienced. Come one, come all, step right up for an immersive evening of diabolical fun that you and your friends won’t soon forget.