Opera Steamboat kicks off 2018 season with top-tiered talent
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — To see top-tiered opera talent and full-scale opera productions, one typically must travel to stages in New York, Chicago or Milan. But with Opera Steamboat’s presence in this quaint mountain town, the high-caliber talent comes to Steamboat.
“Opera is an art form that requires dedication and many years of study on the part of the performers, the technical crew (lighting, audio, directing, musicians),” said Melissa Hampton, Opera Steamboat board member. “To have these musicians living in Steamboat as well as traveling here each summer for the festival, it only enriches our quality of life and adds to the magic of what we have here in Steamboat.”
Opera Steamboat’s 2018 season kicks off this week with performances of Milton Granger’s “The Proposal” at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3 at Library Hall and 8 p.m. Monday at Chief Theater.
The National Opera Association New Opera Competition finalist (rated for ages 18 and older) follows the story of a woman who receives a marriage proposal and discusses it with her five alter egos. As all of her alter egos gather together in her mind, she must hear everyone out, from the 5-year-old to the Mother Teresa inside herself.
“It’s a real woman’s point of view that was inspired by letters my wife and I had written each other a long time ago,” Granger said. “The script is just inspired by those, but it’s more about the personalities of a woman grappling with a decision she must make in an amusing and interesting way.”
Granger said the Steamboat performances feature world-premiere orchestration, commissioned by Opera Steamboat and created specifically for the Steamboat audience.
Each year, Opera Steamboat Artistic Director Andres Caldera brings in a variety of operas: one newly composed work by a living composer meant for adult audiences, one children’s opera and one grand opera.
“Opera can be a family event, therefore each season features a family-friendly show, with roles for young Steamboat singers. This year, it is ‘The Cunning Little Vixen,’ based on a Czech fairy tale,” Hampton said.
Leos Janacek’s family show about a female fox will take the stage at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 and noon Aug. 11 in Julie Harris Theatre at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp.
The multisensory performance features singers from the Opera Steamboat Institute program, who audition to be part of the three-week season, as well as local Steamboat musicians.
On Thursday, Aug. 9, the large-scale production of W. A. Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” will commence at 7 p.m. at Strings Music Pavilion for a performance blending elements of comedy and melodrama.
This full-scale, grand opera performance brings a cast of actors and opera singers with a successful career performing across the world.
Hampton said this classic opera is sung in Italian with two acts. The story entails the nobleman Giovanni, who has no restraint when it comes to seducing the local women. The villagers grow resentful and show no restraint in seeking revenge.
“These are not your grandmother’s opera, but rather an exciting evening of music and theater all wrapped up in one show,” Hampton said. “It can be comedic, dramatic, playful and romantic all within the same production.”
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