Opera Steamboat opens summer season Friday featuring international opera stars
Through the performances planned during Opera Steamboat’s 15th season, cast and crew members will lead audiences into the world of opera.
“I constantly tell Steamboat residents to come see us — to discover us,” said Andres Cladera, artistic director for Opera Steamboat. “Allow us to take you into the world of opera, its powerful music and artistry, and we will make you an opera lover for life.”
The season will kickoff with “Cavallieria Rusticana,” an iconic Italian opera by Pietro Mascagni “at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Steamboat Christian Center.
Cladera said it’s a production filled with alluring melodies, drama, betrayal, romance and excitement and featuring a cast that includes international opera stars Alexandra LoBianco and Jonathan Burton.
“These two singers are performing all around the world, and they choose to come sing and work with our company because they believe in our innovative programming and the excellence of our work,” Cladera said.
“I’m so very appreciative to have this kind of oasis to make a debut in a role like Turiddu, with a friend and colleague like Maestro Cladera,” Burton said. “While we’re very lucky to be able to come and sing in such a beautiful setting, I feel excited for this charming town that it has such a serious company to present this fabulous work.”
Opera Steamboat will also present G.F. Handel’s “Alcina” at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 10 and 12 at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp’s Julie Harris Theater.
The traditional baroque opera, which will be conducted by Opera Omaha’s Sean Kelly, will feature 35 students from all over the country who are part of Opera Steamboat’s resident young artists program.
Adding to the mix of the season’s major performances will be the family-friendly contemporary opera, “The Enchanted Pig” by Jonathan Dove, which will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11 and 1 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Julie Harris Theater.
Based on European folk tales, this opera is directed by Cherity Koepke from Opera Colorado, and it is a performance that Cladera said will keep young audience members engaged with its 21st Century-inspired music.
“All of our opera performances have supertitles, making it easy for audience members to understand the flow of the operas,” Cladera said. “In particular, ‘The Enchanted Pig’ is a perfect way for families to attend the opera with children, as it is performed in English. It is a fun fairy tale, which will enchant children and adults alike with its comedy and beautifully compelling music.”
Opera Steamboat, formerly Emerald City Opera, was founded in 2002 as a nonprofit by Keri Rusthoi, who left in 2015 but had the vision to bring world-class operatic artists to Steamboat Springs in a format appealing to a broad spectrum of audiences.
Pieces by the likes of Mozart, Strauss, Verdi and even Bernstein’s “Tonight!” from the production of “West Side Story” are just a few of the diverse array of music the Arias and Ensemble Concert will encompass on Saturday starting at 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church.
Cladera said the selections in this concert are performed, as they would be on stage, but without the use of sets and costumes, creating an intimate and engaging experience for audiences.
Opera Steamboat’s summer program is three weeks long, and in addition to the major productions, the company will present an Arias and Ensemble Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Steamboat Springs as well as a series of master classes, which offer a behind-the-scenes-look of the season’s performances as nationally acclaimed opera singers and actors provide coaching to the Opera Artist Institute students.
From noon to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 11, nationally acclaimed American tenor, vocal coach and opera administrative director William Russell will lead a vocal master class at Bud Werner Memorial Library.
“Specifically, this season, our vocal talent is extraordinary,” Cladera said. “Our programing is diverse ,and it showcases our young artists as well as our professional singers and orchestra.”
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Just inside the doors of Kevin Dietrich’s Natural Exposure Gallery in downtown Steamboat Springs, there are moose, bears and some of the town’s most scenic landscapes captured in perfect light.