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OperaDelaware's 2019 Festival opens this weekend

Sister Helen Prejean (Submitted Photo)

OperaDelaware marks its 74th season this year, and that celebration includes the 2019 Opera Festival, which kicks off this weekend at The Grand in Wilmington.



Delaware is home to the 11th oldest professional opera company in the country. OperaDelaware’s 2019 Festival starts on this Saturday April 27 and runs through Saturday, May 4.

“This season we have a Festival that focuses on the themes of law, redemption and unlikely friendships in a divided world,: said Brendan Cooke - OperaDelaware’s General Director.

He says the festival starts Saturday night with one of the most successful contemporary operas of all time - Jake Heggie’s and Terrence McNally’s Dead Man Walking.

Cooke says it’s based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean.


“I’m delighted to report [Prejean] will be in the audience with us on Saturday evening. And she’s offering a free Q&A session before the show at 3:30 at First & Central (Presbyterian) Church," said Cooke.“It’s wonderful for us to have her there for a couple of reasons. Number one - it’s her story. Or essentially it’s the operatic setting of it - it’s the amalgamation of sort of two of the characters in her book. You know, it’s incredible for the cast to be able to - especially for the woman who is playing Sister Helen.”

Cooke says Sister Helen is being played by Aleks Romano.

The Festival also includes composer Derrick Wang’s one-act opera Scalia/Ginsburg — about the friendship between Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.

Cooke says Scalia/Ginsburg will be paired with the courtroom comedy Trial By Jury by Gilbert and Sullivan.


To get tickets for this year's OperaDelaware Festival or to read more, or to register for Sister Prejean's book discussion and Q&A, click here.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from theDelaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.