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Welcome to Bel Cantanti, an opera company within the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area devoted to giving performance experience to both seasoned and aspiring professionals. Between the beautiful singing and glorious music, you will find yourself thoroughly captivated.
"Bel Cantanti Opera continues to be one of the best kept musical secrets in the Washington area."

"The future of opera as fun rather than spectacle or museum piece, lies with such groups as Bel Cantanti Opera."

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"Bel Cantanti… reaffirmed the belief that we are living in a golden age of opera and the hope that opera in America has a promising feature. Bel Cantanti … makes the special magic of opera happen.”
Washington Post
“… an absolute delight for opera aficionados and the perfect opportunity for timid newbies to be surprised at just how much fun opera can be.”

Washington Times
"Bel Cantanti Opera has emerged as a great showcase for area talent."

Arlington Weekly News TV
"Bel Cantanti…shows a serious, focused orientation, high ambition and significant potential."

Washington Post

Kathleen McGhee
(September 29th, 1956 – September 1st, 2013) served as a Founding Director and Costume Designer of Bel Cantanti Opera since December 2003. She designed BCO performances of Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Cosi Fan Tutte, Rigoletto, Die Fledermaus, L’Elisir d’Amore, Eugene Onegin, Barber of Seville, Daughter of the Regiment, Hansel and Gretel, The Magic Flute, Aleko, Iolanta and so many other operas. Kathleen also was a pianist and harpist and held an undergraduate and two graduate degrees in music.

Rest in Peace, dear friend, amazing musician, a person of rare beauty, generous heart and kindness.

Bel Cantanti Opera dedicates all the performances of its 10th anniversary season to Kate McGhee, whose whole life has been given to the arts, music, and opera.


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" Bel Cantanti reminds us that our region's smaller companies are arguably smarter, better stewards of the art form, spending more wisely than the big-budget houses, presenting sturdy, smaller-scaled evenings of opera..."

                                                                                     Tom Huizenga. Washington Post, September 27, 2010

Season 2013 - 2014

Current Performances

AUDITIONS! Bel Cantanti Opera. Season 2014-2015.

J. Massenet Cendrillon, November 2014

E. Kalman Die Chardasfurstin December 2014-January 2015

S. Rachmaninoff Francesca da Rimini, March 2015

M. Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortileges and H. Hans Krása's Brundibar, May 2015

Auditions are held on May 24 and 25, 2014, at the Church in Bethesda (5033 Wilson Lane, Bethesda, MD). On May 31 auditions will be held at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia (2125 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103).

To apply for auditions the applicants need to send the application materials to General and Artistic Director of BCO, Katerina Souvorova at

More information about the Auditions (click here)

F. Handel Serse (The Xerxes)


Sung in Italian with and projected English supertitles, accompanied by BCO chamber orchestra, conducted by Katerina Souvorova.

Friday, May 2, 7:30pm

Sunday, May 4, 3:00pm

Saturday, May 10, 7:30pm

Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Rd. Rockville, MD

Serse: Desiree Maira, Romilda: Anna Feucht, Arsamene: Brennan Hall, Atalanta: Julia Ebner, Amastre: Sarah Kraus, Melanie Ashkar, Ariodate: Andrew Potter, Elviro: Daryl Yoder.

Stage Director: Peter Kozma, Set Designer: Olga Shpitalna, Murat TasarCostume designer: Adalia Vera Tonneyck, Producer, Conductor: Katerina Souvorova

Tickets are sold online and at the door.

Adult: $40. Senior: $35. Student: $15. Groups of 10 and more: $30.

Ticket information: (240) 230-7372 or at

Past Performances

A Birthday Toast! Bel Cantanti Opera's 10th Anniversary Concert.


It is here! We are ten years old. These years have been exciting! More than three hundred singers have become Bel Cantanti family, almost fifty different shows have been performed. From our first Amahl and the Night Visitors in December of 2003, we have come a long way to Die Fledermaus in December 2013. The concert was a beautiful reunion of great singers, who performed the arias, duets and ensembles from BCO's past and present.

A Toast to Champagne! BCO 10th Anniversary concert at the Embassy of Singapore.


More photos

Rosalinde: Huanhuan Ma; Eisenstein: Aaron Halevy; Adele: Laura Whittenberger; Falke: Michael Celentano; Frank: Adam Sterling; Prince Orlovsky: Rebecca Henry; Ida: Leslie Zapiain; Bodyguard: Eric Gramatges; Guests of Prince Orlovsky: Dan Noone, Lingling Peng, Meredith Marano, Brie Pasko, Charlotte Stewart, Adriana del Castillo, Ted Kerrick.

Accompanied on the piano by Artistic director of BCO Dr. Katerina Souvorova. Set design by Olga Shpitalna.

J. Strauss Die Fledermaus (The Bat)


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Rosalinde: Merideth Marano, Huanhuan Ma; Eisenstein: Aaron Halevy; Adele: Laura Whittenberger, Brieann Pasko, Liz Lalor; Alfred: Dan Noone, Michael Celentano; Falke: Eric McKeever; Blind: David Artz; Ted Kerrick; Frank: Adam Sterling; Prince Orlovsky: Jacqueline Karle, Rebecca Henry; Ida: Leslie Zapiain, Charlotte Woolley, Adriana del Castillo.

S. Rachmaninoff. Concert of Song and Opera


A concert of Russian vocal music. Well known and loved songs as well as unknown romances and operatic music. The concert is accompanied by projections of Russian art of 18th through 21st century and English translations of the Russian texts.

Performers: Cristina Nassiff, Chantelle Grant, Ashley Alden, Gustavo Ahualli, Jeffrey Springer, Michal Celentano.

Accompanied on the piano by Artistic director of BCO Dr. Katerina Souvorova. Set design by Olga Shpitalna. Supertitles: Anna Engelsone.

J. Offenbach Orphee aux Enfers (Orpheus in Underworld)

More photo and video

Stage Director: Guillaume Tourniaire

Choreographer: Jenna Babyak

Costumes: Rachel Feola

Euridice: Catherine Wethington, Kelly Curtin; Orphee: Joey Wilson; Public Opinion: Lindsey Paradise; Offenbach: Adam Sterling.

Gods and Goddesses: Pluto/Aristee: Aurelio Dominguez; Jupiter: Ted Kerrick, Michael Celentano; Cupid: Rebecca Henry, Diane:Emma Gorin, Allison Clendaniel; Venus: Katie Bransford, Nilam Brown; Mercury: Anais Naharro-Murphy; Minevre: Leah Manning, Erin Wein: Junon: Jenna Babyak, Michelle Kelly; Mars: Adam Sterling; Styx: Joe Thordarson.