Wolf Trap’s Filene Center may be quieter than usual this summer of 2020, but it is far from dark. While there are no live performances in an abundance of caution because of COVID-19, Wolf Trap has found its own way to entertain audiences, albeit at a digital distance.
With a motto “Now More Than Ever Music Moves Us,” Wolf Trap this summer is offering a wide range of free streaming entertainment from the abundance of its archives.
If you are less familiar with the WTO, it has a core mission to discover and promote the finest emerging talent in the opera field and to mount quality productions beyond the Wolf Trap mainstages. And then there is the UNTRAPPED series, a unique venture that goes beyond the usual boundaries for opera performances “to touch new audiences and share new perspectives.”
Lee Anne Myslewski, Vice President, Opera and Classical Programming, conceived the UNTRAPPED series of programming in 2016. Since then UNTRAPPED has partnered with performing arts companies and venues throughout the DMV such as the Shakespeare Theatre, Taffety Punk, Halcyon, and the AMP at Strathmore. UNTRAPPED has also partnered with The Phillips Collection and the Library of Congress.
“When it became obvious that we wouldn’t be able to stage fully produced operas this summer, we were naturally searching for ways to bring that theatrical experience to our patrons,” said Myslewski.
“We are so proud of the work that we’ve been able to capture in previous seasons, and sharing that content again was a way to thank our community for their support, and to remind of all of the beautiful work Wolf Trap Opera artists have brought to us in seasons past,” added Myslewski,
As I learned from Myslewski and Erick Hoffman, Wolf Trap Director of Communications, the UNTRAPPED series of online performances will provide viewers with the opportunity to become enthralled with the likes of a live event with Denyce Graves as well as pre-recorded opera events such as The Orpheas Project, Into the Woods, and Idomeneo among others.
According to Myslewski, The Master Class with Denyce Graves will be streamed as a traditional event, though with with no in-person audience. It will be streamed live on Wednesday, July 22, at 3:00 p.m. Given the nature of the digital medium, the audio can be expected to be a little compressed.
There will be something very special for the UNTRAPPED The Orpheus Project and Into the Woods. Each is “a series of scenes and arias that will be newly recorded this summer with our 2020 artists, and will be streamed after we’re able to do some editing/post-production,” indicated Myslewski.
Idomeneo was described as “a cinematic capture of that performance from our 2018 season” by Myslewski. The video of the performance will feature high production values as would be experienced in person.
So if you have enjoyed the setting of the Filene Center, or the wide expanse of lawn seating at Wolf Trap to take in a summer night’s performance, or took in a musical experience in the cozy The Barns, you still can. This time from the safety and comfort of your own lawn or from inside your own home. There is plenty available and here is the place to seek out more details.
And remember this from Wolf Trap: “The suspension of concerts this summer is a pause in the long arc of Wolf Trap. While the current summer season is on hold, the Foundation is looking forward to resuming concert activity at the Barns at Wolf Trap later in the year, and is busy planning the 50th-anniversary season at the Filene Center in 2021.”