MANDEL OPERA & HUMANITIES FESTIVAL: THE AMERICAN DREAM
The Mandel Opera & Humanities Festival: The American Dream is a series of moments and opportunities for discussion created for the greater Cleveland community and headlined by concert performances of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West) conducted by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst at Severance Music Center (May 11 - 20)
- TCO’s annual opera and humanities festival is supported by a portion of a historic grant of $50 million from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. This and future festivals will engage the greater Cleveland community and realize Severance Music Center as a gathering place for the entire community. Learn more about this historic gift.
May 18 The American Dream, the American Nightmare, & Black American Music
Reinberger Chamber Hall at Severance Music CenterDetails
Going to multiple performances? Four-concert passes start at just $52 That's up to 50% over individual ticket prices!Explore Passes
Already have a ticket?
Those who already have a ticket to any performance of Puccini’s opera Girl of the Golden West will receive the discounted rate when they purchase individual tickets to any of the three other programs in the festival package.
- Puccini’s Girl of the Golden West
- FRAGMENTS with Alisa Weilerstein
- Musical Reflections: Dreams We've Dreamed
- Keynote with Isabel Wilkerson
- Hospitality bag at CWRU event on May 20
April 21 - May 14 The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin
Karamu HouseView Past event Details
May 13 United in Song! A Free Community Choral Celebration
Mandel Concert HallView past event Details
May 13 Keynote Speaker: Isabel Wilkerson
Mandel Concert Hall
This presentation includes chamber music performances by Cleveland Orchestra musicians.View Past event Details
May 16Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque Land of Gold
11610 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OHView Past event Details
May 18 Finding the Dream: Solo Vocal Performance by Steven Weems
Western Reserve Historical SocietyTickets & Details
May 20 | 12pm - 2pmExamining the American Dream Part I
Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West and its Influences: Placing the opera into a perspective
CWRU Tinkham Veale Center, Ballroom ADetails
May 20 | 3pm - 5pmExamining the American Dream Part II
Cleveland’s Cultural DNA and The American Dream: Past, Present, and Future
CWRU Tinkham Veale Center, Ballroom A
Co-presented by The City Club of Cleveland and in partnership with Ideastream Public MediaDetails
May to August Community Voices: The American Dream
Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) will explore, through its Community Voices project, how works of art can speak to the idea of the “American Dream.”Details
About the Festival
The American Dream festival will aspire to engage conversation from different perspectives around timeless questions including: what is the relevance of the American Dream today? what does it mean to the greater Cleveland community?
From what was at first a yearning for self-rule, religious freedom, and democracy, the American Dream evolved to a universal concept that anyone coming to America would be able to succeed through opportunity and hard work — to forge a better life for themselves and their family, to achieve success from your own initiative and efforts.
The American Dream remains an aspirational concept related to the promise of a country that embraces optimism for the future and the ability to shape it, as well as recognition of every person’s potential as a dignified and free human being. However, while achievable for some, for many others the American Dream remains an unattainable dream, a cruel illusion, an unfulfilled promise. The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2023 Mandel Opera & Humanities Festival: The American Dream will acknowledge and engage these subjects and offer an opportunity to explore and reflect on the American Dream of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Puccini’s underappreciated masterpiece La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West) headlines our 2023 Mandel Opera & Humanities Festival: The American Dream, featuring an exploration of the changing promise of the American Dream. Often dismissed as a naïve “cowboy opera,” the story of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West is set on the American frontier of the California Gold Rush in 1849. The opera brings to a boil conflicting desires for fortune and friendship. Its characters give their all in a rough-and-tumble scramble for money, love, and loyalty — heightened by a passionate music score that boldly underscores dreams of riches, hope, desperation, and desire. This opera and our annual opera presentations showcase The Cleveland Orchestra’s remarkable versatility and artistic ambition as a symphonic and opera ensemble.
— Franz Welser-Möst, Music DirectorView Festival Program Book
About the Opera
Often dismissed as a naïve “cowboy opera,” Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West was created for the Metropolitan opera and premiered in 1910 starring Emmy Destin and Enrico Caruso. Set on the American frontier of the California Gold Rush in 1849, the opera brings to a boil conflicting desires for fortune and friendship. Its characters give their all in a rough-and-tumble scramble for money, love, and loyalty — heightened by a passionate music score that boldly underscores dreams of riches and hope, desperation and desire.
Puccini’s underappreciated masterpiece headlines The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2023 Mandel Opera & Humanities Festival, featuring an exploration of the changing promise of the American Dream. From the Gold Rush to today, how has America’s allure and promise for a better life played out for succeeding generations — through different waves of immigration and across society’s changing boundaries?