Opera Rara announces 2023/24 season, including a major multi-year project to perform and record almost 200 rarely heard Donizetti songs

Opera Rara continues the rich vein of operatic archaeology, which has been its calling card for over half a century, with performances, studio recordings and exhibitions in a 2023/24 season that celebrates the past made new.  

A strong focus on the music of Donizetti marks the 225th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Tenor Laurence Brownlee, baritone Etienne Dupuis and Opera Rara Artistic Ambassadors, Ermonela Jaho and Michael Spyres, join Opera Rara Artistic Director Carlo Rizzi to headline the Donizetti Song Project (beginning September 2023), which over three years will feature performances at London’s Wigmore Hall, and recordings of almost 200 of the composer’s songs, many to be heard for the first time.  A  concert performance and recording of L’esule di Roma marks the completion of Opera Rara’s 27th Donizetti revival (11 May 2023, Cadogan Hall, London). 

The season also puts the spotlight on the treasures and rarities in the Foyle Opera Rara Collection at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with a series of lunchtime concerts, an exhibition and tour of the Collection during the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World week (June 23).  Opera Rara continues its Salon Concert Series with London performances by exciting emerging talent (beginning June 23). And there will be three complete opera releases , including the first ever recording of Mercadante’s Il Proscritto (14 April 2023) followed by Offenbach’s La Princesse de Trébizonde in September 2023 and L’esule di Roma in spring 2024.

The season features some of the biggest names in opera alongside emerging talent.  Britten Sinfonia joins Opera Rara on stage and in the recording studio for L’esule di Roma, and the Hallé, under former Opera Rara Artistic Director Sir Mark Elder, will partner for a new production in 2024 (with further details to be announced later this spring).  A new relationship with World Heart Beat Music Academy will see young people looking to start a career in the music industry from their EMERGE training and music education programme joining Opera Rara behind the scenes at the recording of L’esule di Roma, and Opera Rara artists in a special Opera Insider event at the new World Heart Beat venue in Embassy Gardens, London (Tue 9 May).  

Further events, both live and online, will be announced  throughout the season, offering worldwide audiences the chance to engage with all aspects of Opera Rara’s work and operatic archaeology.