Cincinnati Opera announces "Summer At Summit" performances!

Cincinnati Opera Presents Reimagined 2021 Summer Festival - FINAL
(artist rendering of Cincinnati Opera's Summer at Summit stage - provided by Cincinnati Opera)

(March 31, 2021 - Blue Ash)

The Cincinnati Opera and the City of Blue Ash are pleased to announce that the Cincinnati Opera will be performing several shows at Summit Park in July!

The Cincinnati Opera made the announcement this morning in the following news release: 

Fifty years after Cincinnati Opera presented its final open-air season at its first performance home, the Cincinnati Zoo, the company returns to the outdoors for its reimagined 2021 Summer Festival, Summer at Summit. The season will take place July 11-31 at Summit Park, located in the heart of Blue Ash, Ohio, and will feature internationally renowned artists, the Cincinnati Opera Chorus, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of Cincinnati Opera’s 100th anniversary season in summer 2020. In September, the company announced plans to return to live performance in summer 2021 at its traditional venues, Music Hall and the School for Creative and Performing Arts. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend social distancing as a best practice to stem the virus’s spread, and Ohio’s state mandates continue to limit capacity at indoor performance venues. In the interest of audience, artist, and staff safety, the company has opted to transition to an all-outdoor season for its 2021 Summer Festival.

Summit Park was selected as the ideal performance site given its ability to host large-scale stage productions and its capacity to accommodate a significant, socially distanced audience. Additionally, Summit Park offers a central location and an abundance of public amenities, such as parking and nearby restaurants. During Cincinnati Opera performances, audience members will be able to sit together in socially distanced “pods” designated on Summit Park’s Great Lawn, and performances will be presented from an expansive stage constructed at the base of the park’s signature Observation Tower.

Cincinnati Opera’s Summer at Summit includes three beloved operas previously announced as part of the company’s 2021 season—Carmen, Tosca, and The Barber of Seville. Each opera will be presented without intermission in a reduced, ninety-minute version that will be partially staged with costumes, theatrical hair and makeup, and lighting. Opera in the Park, Cincinnati Opera’s season-opening celebration concert, also moves to Summit Park and will kick off the 2021 Summer Festival.

“Music Hall will always be our home, but we are fortunate to have found a gorgeous new venue in Summit Park for our return to the live stage,” said Evans Mirageas, The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera. “Audience members can be assured that our Summer at Summit will have all of the hallmarks they’ve come to love about Cincinnati Opera—glorious singing, inspiring storytelling, and the chance to be swept away by the magic of live performance.”

“The promise of experiencing live singing again in the company of an enthusiastic, in-person audience is the dream that has carried us through this last year,” said Christopher Milligan, The Harry Fath General Director & CEO of Cincinnati Opera. “We’re grateful to the City of Blue Ash for their partnership as we’ve worked together to envision a one-of-a-kind opera-going experience for our community.”

“The City of Blue Ash is excited for this unique partnership with Cincinnati Opera,” said Blue Ash Mayor Marc Sirkin. “Summit Park is an outstanding outdoor venue that will grant attendees enough room to remain safely socially distanced. I’m thrilled that the Opera will be able to perform in the city, bringing a new type of entertainment to residents and visitors alike.”

The previously announced world premieres of William Menefield and Sheila Williams’s Fierce and Gregory Spears and Tracy K. Smith’s Castor and Patience, originally planned for summer 2020 and rescheduled for summer 2021, have been postponed once more. Fierce is currently slated to receive its world premiere in fall 2021, and Castor and Patience will receive its world premiere in summer 2022.

“Given the intimate scale of both Fierce and Castor and Patience, their optimum performance environment is an indoor theater,” said Mirageas. “The stories that both operas tell are compelling and important for our time. We look forward to giving these new works the premieres they so richly deserve in the very near future.”

Tickets for Cincinnati Opera’s 2021 Summer Festival will start at $15. Current subscribers will be contacted in April with additional information about their ticket options. Single tickets will go on sale to the general public on June 7. For additional information, including an extensive list of answers to frequently asked questions, visit

Click here to read the PDF of the full release from the Cincinnati Opera.

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