STAGE NOTES: Cincinnati Opera to present ‘Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio’ in 2024

Credit: Joel C Ryan

Credit: Joel C Ryan

Cincinnati Opera’s 2024 Summer Festival, which will be held June 13–July 27, will include the first-ever operatic staging of “Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio,” inspired by the legendary musician’s early life.

The mainstage season also includes a new production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s dark comedy “Don Giovanni” (June 13 and 15) and Giuseppe Verdi’s romantic tragedy “La Traviata” (June 27, 29 and 30). Performances will take place in Springer Auditorium at Cincinnati’s historic Music Hall.

In addition to its mainstage productions, the Summer Festival will include a variety of community programs and smaller-scale performances, including projects developed specifically for Music Hall’s intimate Wilks Studio. Details will be announced in January.

“When we assemble an opera season, we are always in pursuit of projects that are operatic in their essence and appeal to a broad audience,” said Christopher Milligan, general director and CEO of Cincinnati Opera, in a news release. “‘Don Giovanni’ and ‘La Traviata’ are classics for that very reason. And ‘Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio’ has it all — a relatable and inspiring story, memorable melodies written for classically trained voices, and a connection to one of the world’s truly great singer-songwriters. We’re thrilled to bring this work to the opera stage for the first time.”

“Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio,” which will be held July 18, 20, 21 and 27, is written by McCartney in collaboration with the late, esteemed composer and conductor, Carl Davis. The work was commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society in honor of its 150th anniversary and premiered in 1991. The piece tells the semi-autobiographical story of a young man named Shanty, who is born during the turbulent years of World War II and grows up in Liverpool. The work follows his life journey, depicting his struggles and joys and exploring the themes of childhood, school days, love, war and reconciliation.

According to organizers, McCartney’s “melodic pop sensibility is evident alongside stunning classical orchestration, resulting in an accessible yet intricate musical work.”

“I am writing to express my wholehearted support for this project,” said McCartney in a letter to Cincinnati Opera. “I believe that the Cincinnati Opera is uniquely positioned to bring this work to life in a new way, and I have no doubt that your production will be an inspiring experience for all who see it… I look forward to its premiere next summer.”

Subscriptions for Cincinnati Opera’s 2024 Summer Festival are available now starting at $105. Tickets to individual performances start at $36 and go on sale April 1. Visit for more information.



Original string master of Trans-Siberian Orchestra to perform with Centerville Orchestras

Recording artist, performer, producer, inventor, Emmy Award-winning composer, and music education advocate Mark Wood will perform with the Centerville Orchestras at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the Performing Arts Center, 500 E. Franklin St., Centerville.

Wood rose to fame as string master and original member of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which will return to the Nutter Center Thursday, Dec. 28.

He also writes and records original music for film and television, has released seven solo albums, and tours with his band The Mark Wood Experience (MWE) which features his wife and partner, vocalist Laura Kaye. He also has performed with such artists as Lenny Kravitz, Celine Dion, Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler and Roger Daltry.

His visit to Centerville High School is part of the Centerville Schools Orchestra Guest Artist Program, which began in 2009. The program has been able to bring world-class artists into the classroom as clinicians and to perform with students.

Tickets are general admission and can be purchased online at



Miami East High School students to participate in 2024 OMEA All-State Choir

Six Miami East High School Symphonic Choir students were accepted by blind audition into the 2024 OMEA (Ohio Music Education Association) All-State Choir.

The students are: freshman tenor I Caleb Brubaker; senior bass II Andrew Crane; junior tenor I Vincent Crane; senior alto I Lexi Loughman; junior tenor II Chris Smith; and sophomore soprano I Emma Whitten.

“Students made recordings of a vocal range and a prepared solo,” said Omar Lozano, director of choirs for Miami East Local Schools in Miami County. “An audition committee screened each student applicant’s recordings and chose singers with outstanding tone, intonation and musicality.”

Lozano said a total of 1,200 students tried out and 155 students were accepted. The All-State Choir will perform at the Columbus Convention Center Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. The elite ensemble will be directed by Hilary Apfelstadt. The Miami East High School students were coached by Lozano and accompanied by Melissa Lozano.

“Congratulations on your achievements — way to represent MEHS well!,” Lozano said.

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