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Riffs and Relations: Cafritz Young Artists of Washington National Opera

vocal and piano | Exhibition Concert


Music Room

On sale January 2 at 10 am.

Tickets are $45, $25 for members, $20 for students with ID, and $5 for youth (ages 8-18); museum admission for that day is included. Advance reservations are strongly recommended.

Members: please sign in to receive member discount, which will be applied at checkout.

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Singers from the WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and Program Director Robert Ainsley present an evening of art song engaging with the exhibition Riffs and Relations: African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition. Drawing on themes of the Harlem Renaissance and the poetry of Langston Hughes, songs by William Grant Still, Adolphus Hailstork, and H. Leslie Adams will be juxtaposed with music by Darius Milhaud, Erik Satie, Arnold Schoenberg, William Bolcom, and George Gershwin.


STEPHEN FOSTER (1826-1864)
“The Voices that are Gone”

AARON COPLAND (1900-1990)
“The Boatman’s Dance” from Old American Songs 

“O Loving Heart, Trust On”


DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974)
“Mon histoire,” Abandonée,” and “Sans feu ni lieu” from Trois chansons de négresse

SCOTT JOPLIN (1868-1917)
“I Want to See my Child”

“Graceful Ghost Rag”

ERIK SATIE (1866-1925)
“La diva de l’empire”


“Onaway! Awake, beloved!” from Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast

GUSTAV MAHLER (1860-1911)


MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937)
“Chanson Romanesque” and “Chanson à boire” from Don Quichotte à Dulcinée

KURT WEILL (1900-1950)
“I’m a Stranger Here Myself” from One Touch of Venus (1943)


French Impressionism/Modernism 

“Hôtel” from Banalités

“If You Should Go” and “Black Pierrot” from Songs of Separation

FLORENCE PRICE (1887-1953)

H. LESLIE ADAMS (b. 1932)
“Creole Girl” from Night Songs 


arr. EDWARD BOATNER (1898-1981)
“Good News”

arr. MARK HAYES (b. 1953)
“Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho”

arr. CHARLES IVES (1874-1954)
“In the Morning” 

JOHN CARTER (1932-1981)
“Toccata” from Cantata

About the Artists

Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is a leading resident-training program for artists on the verge of international careers. Founded in 2002 by Plácido Domingo, the program offers exceptionally promising young singers and coach/accompanists two years of intensive training, study, and career guidance with the resident faculty, and a team of world-renowned visiting master teachers and coaches which includes Joan Dornemann, Kathleen Kelly, Dennis Giauque, John Churchwell, Alan Held, Erie Mills, Laura Brooks Rice, and Neil Shicoff among others.

Members of the program are featured prominently in performances at the Kennedy Center and throughout the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. They are cast in principal and comprimario roles, given cover assignments, and perform an annual showcase with full orchestra in the Opera House. One or two performances each season are specially designated as “young artist performances,” giving them the opportunity to step into leading roles on the main stage. As well as being featured in an annual recital and masterclass series, they are actively involved in WNO’s American Opera Initiative, where they have the opportunity to workshop and premiere newly composed operatic works. Young Artists also perform frequently in other landmark venues around DC, including the Smithsonian Institution and various embassies, as well as with the National Symphony Orchestra.

The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is dedicated to cultivating successful careers in opera. Graduates of the program have gone on to perform at the world’s leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera, New York City Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Bayreuth Festival, the Glyndebourne Festival, Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu, and Opéra de Monte-Carlo, among others. Additionally, WNO actively seeks to provide former young artists with the opportunity to return to the company in principal and featured roles upon completion of the program.

Director: Robert Ainsley
Principal Coach: Ken Weiss

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