Festival Opera in Walnut Creek

Festival Opera’s 32nd annual season will continue Sunday, August 6 at 4 p.m., when the company returns to the lush grounds of Walnut Creek’s Civic Park for a free Opera in the Park concert, made possible by the Walnut Creek Civic Pride Foundation. The park is located at 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek.

This community program will feature Festival Opera singers Hope Briggs and Lila Khazoum, sopranos; Lily Bogas, mezzo-soprano; Sara Couden, contralto; Taylor Thompson, tenor; and Andrew Fellows, baritone performing highlights from the world of grand opera in an idyllic setting for a late summer afternoon concert of beautiful music and new cherished memories. The singers will be accompanied by distinguished Bay Area pianist Chun Mei Wilson. Festival Opera General Director Zachary Gordin will serve as the concert host. To mark the occasion of this concert, an official welcome greeting will be proffered by Walnut Creek City Mayor Pro Tem, Loella Haskew.

At the heart of Festival Opera’s 2023 summer season will be a new production of Georges Bizet’s immortal opera, Carmen, scheduled for two performances Friday, August 18 at 7.30 p.m. and Sunday, August 20 at 2 p.m. at Walnut Creek’s Hofmann Theatre, Lesher Center for the Performing Arts.

For only the second time in the company’s history, Festival Opera presents Bizet’s Carmen, the composer’s final work for the Paris lyric theater stage in 1875 prior to his tragically early death at age 36. The trailblazing work overflows with raw energy and enduring melodic inspiration, wrapped within a plot that is startling in its uncompromising realism. Today, Carmen remains at the very core of the opera repertory, one of the most often performed works in the world attracting the greatest singing artists of the day to interpret the title role, the ultimate femme fatale and tragic heroine of l’amour.

Individual tickets for Festival Opera’s Carmen are now on sale and are $45, $70 and $90. Student tickets are $20 (age 25 and younger). Tickets may be purchased online at www.festivalopera.org/carmen or by calling the Lesher Center for the Arts Box Office, (925) 943-7469. Performances are scheduled for Friday, August 18 at 7.30 p.m. and Sunday, August 20 at 2 p.m. at the Hofmann Theatre, Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek.

Zachary Gordin began his administrative association with Festival Opera in 2018 as Artistic Advisor, later Artistic Director, and in 2020 was appointed company General Director. A native son of Oakland, Gordin is a highly accomplished baritone singer performing opera repertoire and concert music throughout the country, and is a greatly skilled and insightful piano accompanist; a dedicated health and fitness advocate, the multi-talented musician and impresario is also a builder of harpsichords.

For more details about Festival Opera, visit online at www.festivalopera.org.