Philadelphia Opera House returns to Broad Street after two-year hiatus

Philadelphia’s arts and entertainment scene continues to reopen, attempting to recover from long-term cancellations and postponements caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Opera Philadelphia – the only company in town that produces grand operas – is finally making its return to indoor performances on Broad Street anear a two-year hiatus.

The last concert of the company at the Kimmel Cultural Campus was an acclaimed interpretation of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem”, which took place back in January 2020. Mmonths before the cancellation of the rest of his season, tthe show was praised for its “carefully integrated and cumulative sound” by the investigator.


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For their comeback act, the Opera Philadelphia choir and orchestra, as well as a small selection of soloists, will perform “Oedipus Rex” by Igor Stravinsky and “Lilacs” by George Walker on January 21 at 8 p.m. January 23 at 2 p.m. will be held at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center.

Single-show tickets and season passes to Opera Philadelphia’s “Live in Center City” series are available for purchase. Seating for a single exhibit starts at $ 20, and orchestra seating starts at $ 69. All purchases come with a risk-free purchase guarantee: if you can no longer attend your performance, your ticket will be refunded.

“Oedipus Rex” highlights Stravinsky’s influence on the musical genre. The story is based on Jean Cocteau’s French interpretation of Sophocles’ original play. The title role is played by William Burden, who has performed as a principal soloist on major opera stages since his debut in 1992. He is currently a faculty member at the Mannes School of Music and Julliard.

“… although ‘Oedipus Rex’ is rarely performed, his drama, wit, and consummate artistry do full justice to the composer’s formidable legacy,” according to a statement from Opera Philadelphia.

George Walker’s “Lilacs” is a 15-minute opening performance based on Walt Whitman’s poem “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”. The show looks back at the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and won a Pulitzer Prize after its debut in 1996, making George Walker the first black composer to win this prestigious award.

Walker was classically trained at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and was the first black instrumentalist to play a solo with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

All guests aged 12 and over must show full proof of vaccination prior to entering the site, and adults aged 18 and over must also present identification with their proof of vaccination. Masks are mandatory for everyone, unless actively eating or drinking.

To protect the performers, each of them – with the exception of the solo singers and wind instrumentalists – will be masked throughout the performance. Each artist will be tested before the concert. All gatherings before and after the show will be held online to limit contact.


“Odipe Rex” and “Lilac”

January 21 and January 23
8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday | Ticket prices vary
Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center
300 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102

James C. Tibbs