Guns N’ Rosenkavalier

Andrew Wilkowske, Guitar & Vocals
Lara Bolton, Keyboard & Vocals
with English lyrics by Kelley Rourke
and Musical Arrangements by John Glover

Three consecutive Tuesdays, starting on February 23

Andrew Wilkowske debuted with Madison Opera in Fellow Travelers last season and was scheduled to return for She Loves Me this winter. Since he cannot be with us in person, he is sharing with all of us a special digital project called Guns n’ Rosenkavalier.

What is Guns n’ Rosenkavalier? Andrew and his colleagues took art songs by Schubert, Brahms, and Strauss, gave them new English translations, and mixed them up with music by dozens of rock composers, from Guns n’ Roses to Madonna, Queen, and Lady Gaga. Schubert’s glorious “Wintereisse” is linked with music by Prince, The Jackson 5, and Bonnie Raitt. A “power ballad” set connects arias from La TraviataRigoletto, and Faust with music by Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and Mötley Crüe. There is even a tribute to 1980s music videos with a mash-up of Schubert and Van Morrison.

This dazzling program includes songs you may know (and many you may not) from both the 19th and 20th century, presented in a completely new way – and all sung gloriously by Wilkowske, who also plays guitar. Lara Bolton joins him on keyboard and vocals.

Madison Opera will present the film in three parts, releasing segments on consecutive Tuesdays, starting on February 23. Each segment will be available for one month, so you can catch up whenever you have time

Opera Novice: The Goddesses, Part Two

Available until March 18

“Always wear comfortable shoes.” – the secret to singing Wagner heroines, per Kirsten Flagstad

In December, Kathryn talked about some great divas of the 19th and early 20th century, from Pasta to Ponselle. Now she’ll pick it up where she left off, looking at some of the legendary singers of the first part of the 20th century, from Maria Jeritza and Amelita Galli-Curci to Kirsten Flagstad, Risë Stevens, and Marian Anderson

Emily Birsan has been a favorite Madison Opera performer since she was a graduate student at U.W.-Madison, most recently singing the title role in Rusalka, Juliette in Romeo & Juliette, and at Opera in the Park. Now she returns for a special Valentine’s Weekend recital, featuring arias and songs that tell of both happy and less-happy love (it is opera, after all).


Available until March 1

Ben Edquist broke hearts last February as Hawk Fuller in Fellow Travelers, a few months after he debuted with us at Opera in the Park 2019. He was scheduled to sing Georg in She Loves Me with us this month. Since that is not possible, he instead shares a few numbers from his home in New York, including a song from She Loves Me, as well as arias by Mozart, Korngold, and more.


Streaming Live on February 28, 4-5:30 pm Central

Opera Up Close Cocktail Hour: Stage Managers

Sunday, February 28, 4-5:30 pm Central

Miss the operatic conversation?  Pour your favorite cocktail or cup of tea, and join us online!

Stage managers are in charge of what happens on stage, making sure everyone and everything is in the right place at the right time. Join us for a discussion with Jill Krynicki, Madison Opera’s Production Stage Manager; Lynn Krynicki, her twin sister who is the Production Stage Manager for Washington National Opera; and Sean Corcoran, who stage manages for both companies. Find out what they do, how they trained, and more. Expect lots of great backstage stories!

Available to view on March 5

Mini-Recital: Kirsten Larson

Available on March 5

Join mezzo Kirsten Larson in your living room for a mini-recital featuring music by Clara Schumann, Richard Strauss, Charles Gounod, and Jacques Offenbach.

Kirsten was a Madison Opera Studio Artist for the past two seasons, singing roles including Flora in La Traviata and Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, and was originally scheduled to sing Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro this season.

Streaming Live on Thursday, March 11, 7 pm Central

Opera Novice: Opera Traditions Outside Europe

Thursday, March 11, 7–8 pm

When we say “opera,” we are usually referring to works from Western Europe and the U.S., whether by a 19th century Italian composer or a 20th century American one. Yet there is more to the world of “telling stories with music” than these works. Join Kathryn Smith for an exploration of other operatic traditions, from Chinese opera to Argentine tango opera, Cuban zarzuelas, and more.

Note: This topic was suggested by one of our subscribers last fall. Have an opera topic you would like us to explore? Send an email to info@madisonopera.org!

Streaming on Saturday, March 20 at 7:30 pm Central

Live from the Madison Opera Center: Alan Dunbar

Streaming on Saturday, March 20 at 7:30 pm Central

Alan Dunbar has sung an incredibly wide range of music at Madison Opera since his debut as Alidoro in La Cenerentola in 2012. Audiences have enjoyed him in roles ranging from Papageno in The Magic Flute to Schaunaurd in La Bohème, Owen Hart in Dead Man Walking, and Joseph McCarthy in Fellow Travelers. Now the Minnesota baritone joins us for an intimate recital of his favorite music – some by composers you know, and some that will surprise you!

Streaming Live on Sunday, March 28, 4-5:30 pm

Opera Up Close Cocktail Hour

General Directors:
Michael Egel, Ashley Magnus, Lee Anne Myslewski

Streaming Live on Sunday, March 28, 4-5:30 pm

Miss the operatic conversation? Pour your favorite cocktail or cup of tea, and join us online!

Four opera general directors walk into a chat room…. Stepping outside the Madison Opera family, Kathryn Smith is joined by three colleagues: Michael Egel of Des Moines Metro Opera, Ashley Magnus of Chicago Opera Theater, and Lee Anne Myslewski of Wolf Trap Opera.  From how they got into opera, to the ups and downs of running an opera company, their favorite productions, funniest moments, and more, it will be a unique and entertaining afternoon.