Honoring the company’s commitment to support the artists and artisans who were to make up the physical 2020 company, Chautauqua Opera has engaged more than 40 company members who will come together virtually to create nine weeks of digital operatic content. In addition to creating digital content, Chautauqua Opera will support and foster the growth of the 20 Young Artists who were engaged for the 2020 season by creating a virtual Young Artist Program, which will provide these artists with opportunities for connection, coaching, and mentorship with professionals in the field and Chautauqua Opera staff.

Beginning on June 24, more than 30 public events, live and pre-recorded, will fill the nine weeks of the season, culminating on Wednesday, August 26.

All digital content this summer will live on CHQ Assembly, the new online expression of Chautauqua Institution’s mission. Opera content will be accessible at no cost through CHQ Assembly’s Virtual Porch. Opera events will have live release dates and will be archived and accessible to view on demand throughout the season following the release.


Featured Artists

Featured Young Artists of the Week:
Each week of the nine-week season, the company will shine the spotlight on two or three Young Artists. In addition to being featured in the company’s digital content that week, each Young Artist will have a dedicated Artist Spolight page where the community will be able to get to know them more deeply.

Week Two Featured Young Artists:  Yazid Gray, Nicole Heinen and Max Potter

Weekly Guest Artists
Chautauqua Opera has engaged nine Guest Artists to join the company over the course of the season. Each Guest Artist will be in virtual residence with the company for one week of the season, and will engage with the Young Artists in conversation, a master class, and mentoring sessions.

Week Two Guest Artist: Raehann Bryce-Davis

Backstage Artists and Artisans
It truly takes a village to put on an opera, and there are many members of any opera team whose work happens out of the audience’s sight. This summer, the company will introduce these artists and share some of the magic that goes into making live performance happen. Each week we will highlight a new production department in our Behind-the-Scenes series events. 

Featured Digital Events

Cocktails, Concerts & Conversations Series (Live Events: Mondays at 5 p.m. Eastern)

Next event: Monday, July 6. Register here.

Each week, one Guest Artist and several Featured Young Artists of the Week will join Steven Osgood in conversation during this 60-minute feature presentation. The hour will also include video highlights from the company’s weekly master class, Opera Invasion events, and behind-the-scenes conversations.

The program will conclude each week with the world premieres of new compositions by Composer-in-Residence Frances Pollock, setting texts by playwright and librettist Jerre Dye. Over four days in early June, Pollock and Dye interviewed each of this season’s 20 Young Artists. Together they investigated the emotional and professional impact of the COVID-19 crisis and the isolation it has created for so many people around the world. These interviews coincided with the first protests in response to the killing of George Floyd. Dye has woven together short texts inspired by each of these interviews into poetry, which will be set by Pollock. Each micro-piece (45 seconds to 2 minutes long) will be for a cappella solo voice. The resulting song cycle will be a work which responds immediately to this unique moment in the world, and embraces the isolation virtually all singers in the opera field are experiencing today.

Weekly Morning Master Classes (Live Events: Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Eastern)

Next event: Wednesday, July 8. Register here.

Join Steven Osgood and other hosts for a Master Class Watch Party on Wednesday mornings. Each master class will feature the Guest Artist of the Week coaching four or five Young Artists, working on a wide variety of repertoire. During the events, hosts will offer commentary and answer questions submitted by attendees.

Behind-the-Scenes Conversations (Live Events: Thursdays at 12 p.m.)

Next event: Thursday, July 9. Register here.

It truly takes a village to put on an opera, and there are many members of any opera team whose work happens out of the audience’s sight. This summer, the company will introduce these artists and share some of the magic that goes into making live performance happen. Each week of the 2020 season, Chautauqua Opera will host a live conversation with a different production department. These conversations will give audiences a unique backstage look at the many artisans that make an opera company tick, and will include opportunities for attendees to ask questions.

Opera Invasion Series (Live Events: Fridays at 10 a.m., Weeks Two, Four, Six & Eight)

Next event: Friday, July 10. Register here.

Chautauqua Opera’s fifth season of Opera Invasions is going virtual! With Young Artists spread across the country this summer, the company will put a new socially distanced twist on some of their most popular Opera Invasions, bringing audiences a look at the lives and locations of the 2020 Young Artists as they (safely) invade their hometowns.

Other Ways to Engage

Weekly Spotify Playlists

Each week, two Young Artists will draw inspiration from Chautauqua Institution’s weekly theme and weekly interfaith theme to curate Spotify playlists for your listening pleasure. We hope these playlists provide inspiration, joy, and a chance to engage with these themes in a different way.

Week Two Playlists:

Curated by Max Potter, inspired by the theme Forces Unseen: What Shapes Our Daily Lives
Curated by Yazid Gray, inspired by the interfaith theme Forces that Shape Our Daily Lives: The Contemporary Search for Spirituality

See past playlists at chq.org/opera-weekly-playlists

Weekly Opera Contests

Sick of staring at your screens? So are we. That’s why we’ve devised some fun non-digital ways to engage with our community this summer! Each week of this summer we will hold several creative contests. The prize? Our exclusive 2020 Opera Invasion T-shirt (and instant fame, of course)! Winners will be chosen weekly and announced during our weekly Cocktails, Concerts & Conversations events, Mondays at 5 p.m.

Learn more about our Weekly contests here.