Opera Philadelphia celebrates a return to live audiences with a dazzling summer evening of opera, picnics, and fireworks at the Mann

-Courtesy of Opera Philadelphia

Two of classical music’s most thrilling tenors come together with Opera Philadelphia for a beautiful summer evening of vocal pyrotechnics, picnics under the stars, and a dazzling fireworks display. “An Evening of Vocal Fireworks” spotlights the incredible talents of tenors Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres in friendly sing-off on Thursday, Aug. 26, at 7:00 p.m. at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.

The special pre-season concert, part of the Mann’s Summer Picnic Series, reunites the “dueling tenors” for the first live performance in North America of music from their critically acclaimed 2020 album, Amici e Rivali (Friends & Rivals), featuring arias and duets from some of Rossini’s most beloved operas and rarely heard works, such as The Barber of Seville, Ricciardo e Zoraide, and Otello, plus a few surprises. Jack Mulroney Music Director Corrado Rovaris leads the Opera Philadelphia Orchestra and Chorus from the TD Pavilion stage. The evening concludes with a display of fireworks high above the Fairmount Park concert venue.

The concert marks Opera Philadelphia’s first full capacity event in 18 months (a May 2021 concert series was limited to just 500 participants per night). Subscription tickets are now on sale. Single tickets go on sale on Monday, July 19, at 9 a.m. at operaphila.org or 215.732.8400. Lawn seating at the Mann is just $25, and picnics are encouraged at the venue to enjoy before and during the show. Parking at the venue is free.

In 2018 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Brownlee and Spyres engaged in an incredible encore duet of “Ah! Vieni nel tuo sangue” from Rossini’s Otello, video of which went viral. The buzz led to the development of the groundbreaking Warner Classics album Amici e Rivali – Friends and Rivals – comprising more than a dozen arias, duets, and trios from seven of the composer’s operas, from the popular comedy The Barber of Seville, to six serious dramatic works OtelloArmidaLa donna del LagoElisabettaRegina d’Inghilterra, and Le Siège de Corinthe, and the rarely performed Ricciardo e Zoraide. The “dueling tenors” album, conducted by Opera Philadelphia’s Corrado Rovaris, was released in November 2020 to critical acclaim, with Opera News raving “Spyres is riveting” and “Brownlee is awesome in his dazzling technical ease and sheer grace,” and The New Yorker declaring, “Amici e Rivali is a nice reminder of the sparks that fly when two first-rate voices meet in the playground of a Rossini opera.”

“Listening to these tenor duets is great entertainment, and sometimes akin to watching an athletic contest,” marveled Philadelphia’s classical music station WRTI-FM (90.1).

Details for “An Evening of Vocal Fireworks”
Lawrence Brownlee & Michael Spyres sing Amici e Rivali
Thursday, August 26, 2021 | 7:00 p.m.
TD Pavilion at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets range from $25 to $100
On sale Monday, July 19
operaphila.org | 215.732.8400

About Opera Philadelphia
Opera Philadelphia,
 the only American finalist for both the 2016 International Opera Award for Best Opera Company and the 2020 International Opera Award for Best Festival, is “the very model of a modern opera company” (Washington Post). Committed to developing opera for the 21st century, the company is recognized as “a hotbed of operatic innovation” (New York Times). For more information, visit operaphila.org.

The Opera Philadelphia Channel creates a digital space in which artists can perform and explore, through a series of new commissions by visionary composers and dynamic performances produced for the screen. Season subscriptions priced at $99 are offered along with pay-per-view rental options for individual performances. The channel is available for viewing on computers and mobile devices, and on TV screens via Chromecast and the Opera Philadelphia Channel app on AppleTV, Android TV, Roku, and Amazon FireTV. For more information, visit operaphila.tv.


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