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Behind the Curtain: Forty Years Previous & A lot To Look Ahead To

By: Greg Carpenter, The Ellie Caulkins Common & Inventive Director

Many individuals ask me how I put collectively every season, and infrequently they assume I simply current a season of my favourite operas. Likewise, I continuously get requested what my favourite operas are and why. As we head into this celebratory fortieth Anniversary Season, I’d love to attract again the curtain and share some solutions.

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How will we select a season?

Now we have lists of operas that fall into a number of classes, like blockbuster items, commonplace repertoire, lesser-known works, new works, and infrequently carried out works. I work collaboratively with Music Director Ari Pelto to select from these lists to create a season that has one thing for everybody—from the educated opera fan to the first-time attendee, to the adventurous music lover.

What’s my favourite opera?

The reply is that there are A LOT of operas that I like for various causes. Oddly sufficient, our fortieth Anniversary Season does embody 4 of my favourite operas and represents that good mixture of classes. Right here’s why I’m enthusiastic about what we’re presenting this season.

Cavalleria Rusticana

This opera was the proper strategy to open our season on September 10! Cavalleria rusticana is usually overshadowed by the larger recognition of its mate Pagliacci. These two seventy-minute one-act operas are historically carried out as a double invoice. For me, Cavalleria Rusticana is such an vital work of verismo opera. Its gritty plot makes you’re feeling like you might be in a small Sicilian village the place everybody is aware of the whole lot about everybody—gossip and intrigue run wild. It’s the Nineteenth Century’s model of a primetime TV drama. Take into consideration Dallas and Falcon Crest! The music is beautiful, filled with ardour and drama, and the characters are individuals you’re keen on, hate, and sympathize with. In our semi-staged manufacturing to have a good time the opening of this monumental season, we concentrate on the unimaginable music, nice singing from our artists and refrain, and our orchestra’s very good music-making beneath Maestro Pelto’s management.

Mezzo-Soprano Kira Dills-DeSurra on stage at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.
Kira Dills-DeSurra alongside aspect the Opera Colorado Refrain and Orchestra within the 2022 manufacturing of Cavalleria rusiticana.


A man in 16th century jesters grab frowns into the camera while protectively grasping his daughter. Text reads: Rigoletto | Nov. 5, 8, 11, 13, 2022What’s to not like about Rigoletto? It has a few of Verdi’s biggest music wound round an unimaginable story the place revenge goes terribly unsuitable. Whereas in lots of operas, the unhealthy man in the end will get his simply desserts, on this piece, he will get away with homicide. The twists and turns on this opera, coupled with the good music, all the time hold me on the sting of my seat. And, with singing from the forged now we have assembled, you’ll have chills and thrills all night lengthy.

Die tote Stadt

An artist at an easel paints the portrait of a young woman with her back to the camera, a ghostly portrait of another woman looks on from above. Text reads Die tote Stadt (The Dead City) Feb. 25, 28, Mar. 3, 5, 2023Die tote Stadt is my all-time favourite opera, the one I take heed to incessantly. I’m moved to tears by the cinematic scope of the luxurious, romantic rating Korngold wrote, coupled with a surreal psychological drama that holds you in between desires and actuality. It’s a real Freudian drama. Erich Korngold was an Austrian Jew who fled Vienna simply earlier than the Anschluss and landed in Hollywood. Whereas he wrote unimaginable symphonies, concertos, chamber music, and operas, Korngold is finest recognized for his movie scores of the late Nineteen Thirties and Forties. Errol Flinn’s Robin Hood is an ideal instance of his dramatic, pictorial writing. Die tote Stadt sounds very like Puccini, Wagner, and Strauss. It calls for an important deal from the singers and orchestra. Our manufacturing will likely be a feast on your eyes and ears and go away you wanting extra!


A woman stands in profile with an elaborate blue, green, and silver costume. She wears an ice-like crown and is surrounded by a stark spotlight. Text reads: Turandot | May 6, 9, 12, 14, 2023Within the fall of 1987, recent out of my Grasp’s Diploma in vocal efficiency, I joined the refrain of Cleveland Opera. That winter’s manufacturing was Turandot. The good Allen Charles Klein designed the units and costumes for a brand-new manufacturing, and the incomparable Bliss Hebert directed the manufacturing. The set featured a grand, artwork deco gold dragon that took up your entire stage. The costuming was opulent, and I bear in mind when the curtain went up each night time, the viewers went wild. That was my first expertise on the stage of a significant opera firm. It’s so thrilling that thirty-five years later, the identical set will likely be on stage on the Ellie Caulkins Opera Home for our manufacturing, directed by the wonderful rising expertise of Aria Umezawa. We’ve assembled a world-class forged to ship a few of Puccini’s most passionate and heart-stopping music. I can not consider a greater strategy to wrap up a significant anniversary yr for Opera Colorado, besides don’t miss our Could 13, 2023, Gala that includes the celebrity Joyce di Donato!

We stay up for celebrating this landmark anniversary with you all season lengthy. Be a part of us and share in a grand season of spectacular songs and tales.


If you want to attend a couple of manufacturing throughout the fortieth Anniversary Season, think about becoming a member of us as a subscriber. Subscriptions are on sale now and are your probability to order the perfect seats at the perfect worth! Save 20% off single-ticket costs and luxuriate in extra subscriber advantages all season lengthy!

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