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Kentucky Opera Returns to the Stage for Brown Forman 21/22 Season at The Brown Theatre

Summer Outdoor Series planned for Late Summer 2021

Kentucky Opera’s Amplify Your Voice initiative, launched in 2020, continues to underpin the 2021/22 season as a way to bring the community together with shared purpose

Early Announcement for 2022/23 - La bohème to kick off its 70th anniversary season

Subscriptions for the Brown-Forman 2021/22 season will be available starting in mid-May, 2021 at or by calling (502) 584-4500.

Louisville, KY, April 14, 2021 - Kentucky Opera has announced its Brown-Forman 2021/22 season highlighting community and artistic partners, as well as key themes of Faith, Justice and Family that resonated throughout Kentucky Opera’s 2020/21 virtual season.

Kentucky Opera’s Brown-Forman 2021/22 season will include two mainstage opera productions, Orfeo and An American Dream, as well as a Holiday Celebration concert and Youth Opera Project production of Robin Hood.

Orfeo, by Christoph Willibald Gluck, is a timeless story of sacrificial love and a longing for second chances. Kentucky Opera will produce two performances of this poignant retelling of this ancient myth at the Brown Theatre on February 11 and 13, 2022 in collaboration with Louisville Ballet and Bourbon Baroque. Maestro Judith Yan conducts her Kentucky Opera debut, and Kelly Kitchens (The Marriage of Figaro, 2020) returns as stage director. Praised by The Washington Post for her “gorgeous, warm voice that you want to keep listening to,” mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin (Enemies, A Love Story, 2018) will be featured in the title role.

An American Dream follows next on April 8 and 10, 2022 at the Brown Theatre. An American Dream explores the lives of two families — a Japanese-American family and an American and his new German Jewish bride — and the house and belongings that weave all of their lives together. Set in the early 1940s following President Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, An American Dream was commissioned by Seattle Opera in 2014. Jack Perla’s music with a libretto by Jessica Murphy Moo has been described as “touching…sentimental…lyrical” by Opera News. Maestro Joseph Mechavich (Carmen, 2019) returns to Kentucky Opera to conduct this production directed by Matthew Ozawa (The Barber of Seville, 2018). Soprano Helen Huang, mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen, and bass-baritone Ao Li make their Kentucky Opera debuts, and local favorites, baritone Morgan Smith (Enemies, A Love Story, 2018) and soprano Emily Albrink (Carmen, 2019), return once again to the Brown Theatre.

A season-opening Holiday Celebration and a Youth Opera Project production of Robin Hood will bookend the mainstage season. The Holiday Celebration at the Brown Theatre will feature the local Kentucky Opera Chorus and Soloists in a single performance on December 16, 2021. Robin Hood, a youth opera written by Ben Moore and Kelley Rourke, will close the season with Kentucky Opera’s Youth Opera Project participants performing at the Bomhard Theatre on June 10 and 11, 2022.

“We are excited to be back at the Brown Theatre to celebrate and gather with our community,” says Barbara Lynne Jamison, Kentucky Opera’s General Director and CEO. “The operas that we are producing this season allow us to celebrate being together again, and also to honor how this past year may have influenced our perspectives on the treasure of family and friendships, the value of belonging, and the importance of justice.”

Kentucky Opera will continue offering Opera Talks prior to each mainstage performance. Opera Talks give audiences an opportunity to learn more about the art form, offering historical context, character analysis, and in-depth discussion about the opera.


Brown Forman 2021/22 Kentucky Opera Season*

Holiday Celebration
December 16, 2021 | The Brown Theatre

February 11 & 13, 2022 | The Brown Theatre

An American Dream
April 8 & 10, 2022 | The Brown Theatr

Robin Hood, A Youth Opera
June 10 & 11, 2022 | The Kentucky Center - Bomhard Theater



Kentucky Opera was founded in 1952 and designated the State Opera of Kentucky in 1982. The mission of Kentucky Opera is to enrich and engage our community through spectacular music, creative storytelling and the thrill of the human voice. Follow Kentucky Opera on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, supports Kentucky Opera with state tax dollars. Federal funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.


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