2018-2019 Season Announcement

(HYATTSVILLE, MARYLAND)—Maryland Lyric Opera (MDLO) continues its full-force reinvention with the announcement of its 2018–2019 season, expanding the number of full-scale opera productions in the Washington-Baltimore region and featuring some of the biggest stars of opera alongside rising young stars nurtured by the company. The season includes a concert version of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West, September 14–15, 2018 at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, and a fully staged production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, January 24–26, 2019 at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center’s Kay Theatre in College Park; a series of semi-staged concerts with the Maryland Lyric Opera Orchestra celebrating the greatest hits of two giants of Italian opera: Verdi on May 17–19, 2019 and Puccini on June 7–9, 2019 at the Kay Theatre; and the continued expansion of its signature MDLO Young Artist Institute, the cornerstone of its revitalization plan announced earlier in the season, both in Maryland and in Beijing, China.                                          

“I am proud that our 2018–2019 season will fully deliver on the promise we made to the community when we reorganized last October, including producing operatic gems like La Fanciulla del West that are rarely performed in Maryland,” said MDLO Founder and Artistic Director Brad Clark. “Providing more opportunities for all of the talented musicians in our region—including both principal singers and the fine members of our new Maryland Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus—is central to our mission. We plan to keep everyone very busy in the coming season, and in the future seasons we are already planning.”

“I am very excited about the casts we have assembled for our two major productions, and I am gratified that our MDLO Young Artist Institute is achieving its promise of creating a pipeline of fresh voices from our studio to our mainstage,” said MDLO Music Director Louis Salemno. “The esteemed José Miguel Cueto will serve as Concertmaster, and we continue to grow our music staff with the recent appointments of Steven Gathman as Chorus Master, Hai Jin and Husan Park as Assistant Conductors, and other key support staff. More appointments are coming very soon—MDLO is ready for the next phase of our development in the coming season, and we look forward to growing our audience in tandem with the growth of our artistic offerings.”

The 2018–2019 Season


(The Girl of The Golden West)

SEPTEMBER 14 AND 15, 2018

Puccini’s rarely performed masterwork La Fanciulla del West, a romantic Western epic featuring one of opera’s greatest scores and lushest orchestrations, comes to North Bethesda’s elegant The Music Center at Strathmore in a special concert version on Friday, September 14 and Saturday, September 15, 2018. Casting for the Friday performance includes renowned British soprano Susan Bullock, one of the world’s most in-demand dramatic sopranos who was last seen locally in the title role in Elektra for Washington National Opera in 2008, as the heroine Minnie. Tenor Jonathon Burton appears in one of his most celebrated roles, the bandit Dick Johnson, and acclaimed baritone Mark Delavan, a veteran of WNO productions of Aida and The Force of Destiny, is the sheriff Jack Rance. The Saturday cast features American star soprano Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs, who performs regularly in Europe and South America, as Minnie; Chinese tenor Yi Li *±, a recent winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, as Dick Johnson; and Russian-American baritone Aleksey Bogdanov *± as Jack Rance. The full Maryland Lyric Opera Orchestra will be center stage along with the Maryland Lyric Opera Chorus, and the evening is conducted by Music Director Louis Salemno.

  • Minnie: Susan Bullock/Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs
  • Jack Rance: Mark Delavan/Aleksey Bogdanov *± 
  • Dick Johnson: Jonathan Burton/Yi Li *± 
  • Nick: Joseph Michael Brent * 
  • Ashby: Kenneth Kellogg *± 
  • Sonora: SeungHyeon Baek * 
  • Wowkle: Catherine Martin ‡
  • Jake Wallace/Billy Jackrabbit: Norman Garrett ± 
  • Jose Castro: Jose Sacín
  • Bello: Yazid Gray * 
  • Harry: Jesus Daniel Hernandez ± 
  • Joe: Mauricio Miranda ± 
  • Happy: Hunter Enoch *± 
  • Postiglione: Antonio Chase * 


  • Conductor: Louis Salemno
  • Chorus Master: Steven Gathman
  • Lighting Designer: Joan Sullivan-Genthe

Tickets start at $50 and are on sale NOW at Strathmore.org or (301) 581-5100

* Alumnus of MDLO Young Artist Institute

± Alumnus of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program

‡ MDLO Competition Winner