Wolf Trap Opera Opens Season with New Production of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, June 10, 12, 15 and 18 at The Barns at Wolf Trap


Wolf Trap Opera partners with Shakespeare Theatre Company, Taffety Punk and McLean Project for the Arts to present The Lucretia Project, a series of free community dialogues exploring social issues and works of art related to the Lucretia story

Vienna, Virginia (May 26, 2016)Wolf Trap Opera, one of the nation’s premier training grounds for young opera talent, opens its 2016 season with a new production of Benjamin Britten’s gripping historical drama The Rape of Lucretia. The production will run for four performances, June 10, 12, 15 and 18 at The Barns at Wolf Trap. See below for complete casting, calendar and ticketing information.

Offered in conjunction with the production,
The Lucretia Project is a series of free community dialogues that will explore the Lucretia story from many angles. The Opera has partnered with local arts organizations to explore the social issues raised in, and the many works of art inspired by, the Lucretia story. Highlights include readings by actors from the Shakespeare Theatre Company, a punk performanceof Shakespeare’s Lucrece by Taffety Punk with a new work by Washington-area composer David Hanlon, and a discussion of military history and theology associated with the story.  Event details are below.

Premiered in 1946 to re-open Glyndebourne’s theatre, Britten’s intimate and haunting lyrical masterpiece is based on an ancient Roman tale of corruption and tragedy. Lucretia, the beautiful and virtuous wife of a Roman general, is defenseless against the tyrannical prince Tarquinius. The horrific events unfold reinforced by Britten’s evocative score, moving arias, and two-person male and female chorus into a tense and potent tapestry of music and drama.

The Rape of Lucretia
is directed by Louisa Muller, who directed WTO’s acclaimed 2015 production of The Ghosts of Versailles. The production is conducted by Craig Kier, with set design by Erhard Rom and costumes by Kara Harmon.

Continuing Wolf Trap’s tradition as a top-tier operatic training program for emerging artists, all principal roles will be performed by Wolf Trap Opera’s
Filene Young Artists. The cast is composed of all returning artist, including mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges in the title role, bass Christian Zaremba as Collatinus, baritone Will Liverman as Tarquinius, mezzo-soprano Kerriann Otaño as Female Chorus and tenor Brenton Ryan as Male Chorus. 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. In addition to
The Rape of Lucretia, the summer opera season will also feature the U.S. premiere of Gassmann’s L’Opera Seria at The Barns, and Puccini’s La bohème (August 5) at the Filene Center with the National Symphony Orchestra led by Grant Gershon. Additionally, 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 in English, with supertitles
Music by Benjamin Britten

Attention: contains adult content.

The Barns at Wolf Trap
1635 Trap Road, Vienna, Virginia 22182
Friday, June 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 12 at 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 18 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

Male Chorus

Brenton Ryan


Craig Kier

Female Chorus  

Kerriann Otaño


Louisa Muller


Christian Zaremba

Scenic Designer

Erhard Rom


Shea Owens

Costume Designer

Kara Harmon


Will Liverman

Lighting Designer

Robert H. Grimes


J'Nai Bridges

Wig & Makeup Designer

Anne Nesmith


Sarah Larsen


Justin Greer


Amy Owens


Miah Im


River Rogers


Bethany Self

Stage Manager      

Jordan Braun


Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia presents audiences with much food for thought. Its timeless themes still resonate—violence against women in time of war, the societal and theological responses to that violence, and the ways in which art can help us grapple with essential but difficult subjects.

In conjunction with its 2016 performance of this compelling opera, Wolf Trap Opera presents
The Lucretia Project – a series of community dialogues exploring social issues and works of art related to the Lucretia story. All events and concerts are free and open to the public.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016
6:30 pm reception, 7:00 pm presentation
McLean Project for the Arts, The McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean VA

The Lucretia legend has been imagined by scores of visual artists. National Gallery of Art Assistant Curator Alexandra Libby will draw parallels between Britten’s opera and the many Lucretia and Tarquinius paintings created by Rembrandt and others.


Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 5:30 pm
The Forum at The Shakespeare Theatre’s Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St NW, Washington, DC

Alan PaulAssociate Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Theater Company, and actors Gregory Wooddell and Katie deBuys explore the many narrative settings of the Lucretia story. Excerpts will be performed from works by Livy, Chaucer, Shakespeare, St. Augustine and Duncan.


Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 8:00 pm
St. Stephen & the Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton St NW, Washington, DC
[Note: Donation requested but not required]

Join D.C. Artist Collective Taffety Punk and singers from Wolf Trap Opera in an aural exploration of the music and poetry written around the Lucretia story. This event includes a punk reading of the Shakespeare poem as well as musical excerpts from Handel’s oratorio LucreziaRespighi’s opera Lucrezia, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and a new work by D.C. area composer David Hanlon.


Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm
Lecture Hall at the Center for Education at Wolf Trap, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna VA

This panel discussion will include theologian J. Michael McMahon, who will address the various religious interpretations of the Lucretia legend; General (Ret.) Lester Lyles, who will discuss the strategy of violence in ancient and modern warfare; and conductor Craig Kier, who will speak to the ability of art to help us explore these sensitive and nuanced issues. Wolf Trap Opera’s Kim Pensinger Witman moderates.



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)

Headshots and stock images are available now. High-resolution production photos are available upon request beginning June 10.

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

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