Wolf Trap Opera Presents U.S. Premiere of Gassmann’s L’Opera Seria


July 15, 17, 20 and 23 at The Barns at Wolf Trap

Vienna, Virginia (July 7, 2016)Wolf Trap Opera, one of the nation’s premier training grounds for young opera talent, continues its 2016 season with the U.S. premiere of Florian Gassmann’s 1769 comic L’Opera Seria, a raucous send-up of 18th-century operatic conventions. The production runs for four performances, July 15, 17, 20 and 23 at The Barns at Wolf Trap. See below for complete casting, calendar and ticketing information.  High resolution production images are available upon request beginning July 15.

L’Opera Seria
takes audiences behind the scenes of an opera house, where the company has just one day to prepare an opera for opening night. With artists who are only interested in their own “moment of glory” and a composer and a librettist at each other’s throats, a positive outcome is by no means assured. In a recent review of the production at La Monnaie (Brussels), the Financial Times wrote, “Gassmann could have been writing about any opera company in any era, and his piece can still make audiences laugh until they cry.”

Gassmann’s musical style encompasses both irreverent ensemble comedy and showstopper virtuoso arias. As it pokes fun at the fading fashion of the serious baroque style, 
L’Opera Seria foreshadows the comic elements of Mozart’s operas, which were composed a few years later. Gassmann’s work has experienced a revival in recent years, with acclaimed productions in Paris, Brussels and Berlin.

L’Opera Seria
is directed by Matthew Ozawa, who directed WTO’s Les mamelles de Tirésias/Le pauvre matelot in 2014, and earned acclaim for his Nabucco at Lyric Opera of Chicago earlier this year. The production is conducted by Eric Melear (WTO’s The Ghosts of Versailles, 2015), with set design by Charlie Corcoran and costumes by Sally Dolembo. Performances will be filmed and audio recorded for future broadcast on Classical WETA 90.9 FM, and streamed online at wolftrap.org.

Continuing Wolf Trap’s tradition as a top-tier operatic training program for emerging artists, the ensemble cast of principals is composed of Wolf Trap Opera’s
Filene Young Artists, with Studio Artists in supporting roles. Wolf Trap Opera’s elite group of young singers is chosen through a highly selective annual nationwide audition tour. See complete casting below.

Since 1971, Wolf Trap Opera has mounted more than 130 productions of more than 80 different operas. The season opened in June with a new production of Britten’s
The Rape of Lucretia, praised as “an intense wallop of a well-sung production” (The Washington Post). The season culminates on August 5 with Puccini’s La bohème at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, with direction by Paul Curran and featuring the National Symphony Orchestra led by Grant Gershon. Throughout the summer, Wolf Trap Opera presents recitals at venues across the region, including Evermay Estate, AMP by Strathmore and The Phillips Collection. A complete calendar of Wolf Trap Opera events is online here. 


Wolf Trap Opera presents

New production and U.S. Premiere
In Italian with English supertitles
Music by Florian Gassmann
Libretto by Ramieri de’ Calzabigi.

The Barns at Wolf Trap
1635 Trap Road, Vienna, Virginia 22182
Friday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 17 at 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Ticketholders are invited to a free pre-show talk beginning one hour before the performance at
Wolf Trap’s Center for Education, next door to The Barns at Wolf Trap.

Tickets start at $32 and can be purchased online at wolftrap.org, in person at the Filene Center and Barns Box Offices, or by phone at 877.WOLFTRAP.

Special thanks to
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello, Wolf Trap 2016 Season Underwriters
Ed and Andy Smith, Performance Sponsors

CAST                                                                             Creative Team
in order of vocal appearance

Fallito, director

Richard Ollarsaba


Eric Melear

Delirio, librettist

Kihun Yoon


Matthew Ozawa

Sospiro, composer

Jonas Hacker

Scenic Designer

Charlie Corcoran

Stonatrilla, prima donna

Clarissa Lyons

Costume Designer

Sally Dolembo

Smorfiosa, seconda donna

Mane Galoyan

Lighting Designer

Robert H. Grimes

Ritornello, primo musico

Alasdair Kent

Hair & Makeup    

Anne Nesmith

Porporina, secondo uomo

Amy Owens


Justin Greer

Passagallo, dancing master

Christian Zaremba


David Hanlon

Caverna, Stonatrilla’s mother

Talin Nalbandian*


Christopher Turbessi

Befana, Smorfiosa’s mother

Jeanne Ireland*

Italian Coach

Franca Gorraz

Bragherona, Porporina’s father

Thomas Glass*

Stage Manager

Michael Janney

Young Prince

Mohammed Badawi



*Studio Artist



 Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation year round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.

Media Information

(Please do not publish contact information)

High-resolution production photos are available upon request beginning Friday, July 15.

Emily Smalling, Coordinator, Public Relations
703.255.4096 or emilys@wolftrap.org

Michelle Pendoley, Director, Public Relations
703.255.1917 or michellep@wolftrap.org