Unable to perform in traditional concert hall settings because of COVID-19 crowd restrictions, Maryland Opera responded last year by launching a series of virtual concerts from people’s homes during the holiday season.

Now it’s back for 2021, with three more free hour-long concerts that will be presented from local homes and live-streamed from the Maryland Opera Facebook page.

The first one, scheduled for February 13, just before Valentine’s Day, is entitled “Love in the Time of COVID.” It will feature soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra, tenor Matthew Vickers and baritone Jarrod Lee, presenting arias and duets from A Masked Ball, Madama Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, and others with a theme of love, but love that comes with challenges.

On March 20, the first day of spring, Maryland Opera will perform “Spring Awakening,” featuring soprano Rochelle Bard, tenor Dane Suarez and violinist Jose Miguel Cueto. They’ll present arias from Werther, Eugene Onegin, violin pieces including “Spring” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and Broadway selections.

On April 17, “Opera Oldies,” will feature soprano Helena A. Brown, tenor Matthew Vickers and mezzo-soprano Kate Jackman, presenting selections from operas set in antiquity, including Aida, Nabucco, and Samson et Dalila.

All of the concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be accompanied on the piano by Maryland Opera Artistic Director James Harp, a driving force behind the series.

“Although the details of our lives have changed, our love for great music and opera remains constant and powerful,” he said in a statement announcing the 2021 concerts. “We are thrilled to bring musical holiday cheer to our community to keep us connected and to bring to all the much-needed message of hope, peace and beauty.”

The residential settings have been selected to provide not only a safe environment for the performers but a festive backdrop for the music, said Harp, who is hosting the second concert in his own home in Bolton Hill. Other hosts are Rob Hair and Steven Ralston on February 13 and Mahin and Homayoon Shamszad on April 17.

“Especially during these uncertain times, we recognize now more than ever the privilege and treasure it is to experience a live music performance.  We remain committed to providing the grand opera experience to our audience!”

More information is available at marylandopera.org.

Avatar photo

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.