Washington Concert Opera presents Peter Russell in new lecture series

Hosted by DC's Iona Senior Center, offers insights on key operas. Photo: Wolf Trap Opera

WASHINGTON, February 16, 2013 – The Washington Concert Opera (WCO) has announced a new opera lecture series in conjunction with DC’s Iona Senior Center. Presented by Peter Russell, WCO’s founding artistic advisor and current general director of Vocal Arts DC, this year’s series will provide commentary on key aspects of various operatic works. Mr. Russell has had a long and distinguished career, and has served in key administrative and artistic posts with the Wolf Trap Opera as that company’s director; as well as with the Metropolitan Opera, and Opera Colorado.

Peter Russell, bottom row, second from right. Photo taken during 2011 Wolf Trap Alumni Concert at the Filene Center. Singers familiar to local audiences include mezzo Denyce Graves (center row, far left); bass Eric Owens, who frequently hosts Metropolitan Opera theatrical simulcasts (center, sixth from left); and heldenbaritone Alan Held (back row, far right) who sang at Wolf Trap during Mr. Russell’s tenure as WTOC director. Pictured directly in front of Mr. Held is current WTOC director Kim Pensinger Witman. (Wolf Trap Opera Company)

Commencing on February 19, WCO’s latest educational lecture events will be held on Tuesday afternoons from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Lectures cover the following operatic works:

February 19: Donizetti’s Roberto Devereaux
February 26: Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice) and Dialogues of the Carmelites
March 5: Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims (A Journey to Reims)
March 12: Verdi’s Rigoletto
March 19: Wagner’s Der Fleigende Höllander (The Flying Dutchman)
March 26: Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (after Shakespeare’s play)

We met with Mr. Russell frequently in years past when he was still with the Wolf Trap Opera and always found him to be unfailingly friendly, delightful, and informative, possessing an extensive knowledge of both the operatic repertoire and the crafts of staging, acting, and singing. His lively lecture series is bound to provide key insights into all aspects of each opera that’s covered.

Admission to individual lectures only costs $10 each, payable at the door. Series tickets cost $60 in advance. To register, call the Iona Center at 202-895-9448.


Read the latest on Wolf Trap Opera’s upcoming season.


The Iona Center is located at 4125 Albemarle Street, NW. Limited free parking is available in the garage area under the building, and metered on-street parking is available as well. Better yet, the venue is only about one block from the Tenleytown Metro stop (Red Line). Simply exit the station toward the west side of Wisconsin Avenue. 

Read more of Terry’s news and reviews at Curtain Up! in the Entertain Us neighborhood of the Washington Times Communities. For Terry’s investing and political insights, visit his Communities columns, The Prudent Man and Morning Market Maven, in Business.

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Terry Ponick

Now writing on investing, politics, music, and theater for the Washington Times Communities, Terry was the longtime music and culture critic for the Washington Times (1994-2009). 

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