Festival O is back, and the sense of joy and expectation was palpable among the audience and Opera Philadelphia staff, who chatted together as we awaited the start of The Raven.
To be clear, the company’s work has been on-going: a streamlined, outdoor Tosca in May of last year was my first return to theater since the pandemic began. But Festival O—a signature event for the company that has been responsible for a new level of national and international awareness—has been on pause till now.
If O22 is reduced in size and scope from previous years, its imagination and audacity remain a hallmark. The Raven is a genre-defying original work, which incorporates a wide spectrum of Philadelphia artists; and it makes unconventional use of a local performance space.
Oh, and yes: tucked in there is a new opera…