Boulder Opera presents “Hansel & Gretel” on Family Series

Holiday favorite will be abridged for younger audiences and sung in English

By Izzy Fincher Dec. 6 at 12 noon

Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel has been a beloved Christmas-time opera for more than a century. Based on the Brothers Grimm classic fairytale, the opera tells an uplifting story of overcoming hardships and the importance of family.

This December, Boulder Opera will present an abridged, hour-long production of Hansel and Gretel, sung in English. The singers will be accompanied by pianist Aric Vihmeister and cellist Mathieu D’Ordine.

Boulder Opera’s 2014 production of Hansel & Gretel, with Lindsay French (Gretel), Corinne Denny (the Witch) and Genevieve Baglio (Hansel).

The performance will be followed by a Q&A session, hosted by director Brandon Tyler Padgett. As a part of their Family Series, Boulder Opera aims to make this interactive, shorter performance more accessible and engaging for younger audiences.

Boulder Opera executive director Dianela Acosta also plays the Witch in the opera

“We want to give young children access to classical music as a stepping stone to engage with this craft,” says Padgett, who will also be playing the role of Hansel and Gretel’s father.

“We want to develop the next generation of opera lovers,” Dianela Acosta, the executive artistic director of Boulder Opera, says. “The best way to do this is to start at an early age, so [attending operas] becomes a habit.”

To be more family-friendly, the production will highlight the light-hearted, magical aspects of Humperdinck’s fairytale opera, while deemphasizing the darker, more mature themes of poverty and domestic abuse. 

“Our focus is on the overarching positive themes within the story—the familial bond of Hansel and Gretel and the natural elements in the world that have benevolent or caring features and want good people to prosper,” Padgett says. “We want to (bring out) the aspects of hope and good over evil.”

Director Brandon Tyler Padgett also plays the role of the Father

Padgett’s goals for Boulder Opera’s production align with the original purpose of the opera, as a small-scale holiday show for children. In 1889, the composer’s sister Adelheid Wette commissioned him to write a few songs for her children’s show, based loosely on the Brothers Grimm fairytale. Following the public’s enthusiastic response, Humperdinck and Wette decided to expand the show into a full two-hour-long opera, which premiered in Weimar in 1893 under the baton of Richard Strauss. 

To appeal to children, Wette decided on a more optimistic adaptation of the Grimm fairytale for her libretto, incorporating additional elements of German folklore. For example, in the forest, Hansel (portrayed here by Leslie Ratner) and Gretel (Melaina Mills) meet the gentle Sandman (Sabino Balsamo), a mythical character in European folklore who sends children to sleep by placing a grain of sand into their eyes and creates beautiful dreams.

After they fall asleep, Hansel and Gretel dream of being protected by 14 angels, which will be portrayed by a teen chorus from the Denver-Boulder area in flowing white costumes. The next morning, the sparkling, elegant Dew Fairy (Balsamo) appears, sprinkling magical dew to awaken the siblings from their peaceful slumber.

With these fantastical elements, Padgett aims to bring out the childlike wonder of Hansel and Gretel as they embark on their adventure, a feeling he hopes will draw the audience into their magical world. 

“Hansel and Gretel are always wondering,” Padgett says. “They’re always asking questions. They’re not only hungry for food but they’re also hungry for knowledge and for excitement. They want to be enchanted.”

Despite the fairytale elements, the opera does explore the darker themes of the Brothers Grimm fairytale, although in a less disturbing way. In the original fairytale, due to the shortage of food and the family’s poverty, the children’s stepmother persuades their father to leave Hansel and Gretel in the woods to die, so the couple don’t starve to death. Later, after being abandoned in the woods by their parents, the siblings, hungry and afraid, wander into the bloodthirsty witch’s magical gingerbread house.

In Humperdinck’s opera, the mother (Lauren Bumgarner) is presented as a more likable, yet complicated character. Filled with despair and frustration as her family starves, the mother sends Hansel and Gretel to the haunted forest to pick strawberries. Realizing her mistake, the mother and father later set off into the forest to save their children.

“One of the themes that children tend to have trouble with in this opera is that the parents have fault in this story,” Padgett says. “It’s not because they’re bad people — they are just humans in a desperate situation. So we try to show how desperate their situation is.”

After the performance, Padgett says this issue will be addressed further in the interactive Q&A session, which will offer children an opportunity to engage with the storyline and the music.

“We want to be able to start a dialogue with kids—not only about the beauty of classical music but also how it reflects real life and its problems,” Padgett says. “This can be a real starting place for a lot of human empathy.”

# # # # #

Engelbert Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel
Boulder Opera, Brandon Tyler Padgett, director

7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9
2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, and Saturday, Dec. 17
4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 18

The Dairy Arts Center Grace Gamm Theater

TICKETS

Grace Notes: Three classical organizations announce 2022–23 seasons

Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Pro Musica Colorado and Boulder Opera

By Peter Alexander Oct. 3 at 5:15 p.m.

With the 2022–23 concert season getting underway, Boulder’s many classical music organizations are getting their season schedules up on the Web. Here are three of the planned seasons for the coming year, from the Boulder Chamber Orchestra, starting Oct. 29; Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra, starting Nov. 19; and Boulder Opera., starting Dec. 9.

While the seasons include some pretty standard repertoire, including Beethoven and Mendelssohn symphonies and two different renderings of Mozart’s early Symphony in A major, K201, it will also offer pieces that are not standard. These include Beethoven’s Mass in C by the Boulder Chamber Orchestra and Boulder Chamber Chorale, and music by Florence Price and Caroline Shaw by the Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra.

Here are the respective seasons:

# # # # #

The Boulder Chamber Orchestra opens its season Oct. 29 without conductor Bahman Saless. Guest conductor Giancarlo De Lorenzo and violinist Loreto Gismondi, both from Italy, will perform a mostly Mozart concert featuring that composer’s Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K218, and Symphony No. 29 in A major, K201. Opening the concert will be Handel’s “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” from the oratorio Solomon. 

This concert is part of an exchange between De Lorenzo and Saless, who previously conducted the Italian orchestra with which De Lorenzo is affiliated.

Other orchestral concerts during the year will be “A Gift of Music” on Saturday, December 17, with soprano Szilvia Shrantz, BCO bassist Kevin Sylves and holiday selections; and a performance of music by Beethoven, Brahms and Mendlessohn with violinist Edward Dusinberre on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023. The season concludes with a performance of Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Boulder Chamber Chorale on Saturday, April 1. Saless will lead these performances.

Concerts by the Boulder Chamber Orchestra will take pace in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 345 Mapleton Ave. Here is the full season schedule:

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29
Boulder Chamber Orchestra with guest conductor Giancarlo De Lorenzo and Loreto Gismondi, violin

  • Handel: “Arrival of Queen of Sheba” from Solomon
  • Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K218
  • Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A major, K201

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Bahman Saless, conductor, with Szilvia Shrantz, soprano, and Kevin Sylves, double bass

  • Handel: Selected arias
  • Henry Eccles: Sonata in G minor for double bass and strings
  • J.S. Bach: Concerto in D minor for two violins and orchestra 

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb.11
Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Bahman Saless, conductor, with Edward Dusinberre, violin

  • Beethoven: Overture to Egmont
  • Brahms: Violin Concerto
  • Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A major (“Italian”)

7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 1
Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Bahman Saless, conductor, with the Boulder Chamber Choir

Beethoven: Mass in C

TICKETS  

# # # # #

The Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra will celebrate its “Sweet 16th” concert season with three programs, presented Nov. 19, Jan. 28, and April 29.

The programs feature several works by women composers, including a woman of color and two living composers, in addition to classic works by Mozart and Beethoven, and a major work of the early 20th century by Arnold Schoenberg. All three performances will be at 7:30 p.m. in Pro Musica’s musical home, Mountain View United Methodist Church at 355 Ponca Place Boulder.

Performances by Pro Musica Colorado will be under the direction of their music director, Cynthia Katsarelis. 

The opening concert will feature pianist Jennifer Hayghe, the chair of the Roser Piano and Keyboard Program at CU-Boulder, playing the Piano Concerto in One Movement by Florence Price. The first female African American composer to have a symphony performed by a major orchestra, Price was well known in the 1930s and 1940s/ After fading from prominence, her name has recently been returning to concert programs.

Other soloists during the season will be cellist Meta Weiss, chamber music coordinator at CU-Boulder, and Takács Quartet members Harumi Rhodes, violin, and Richard O’Neiill, viola. Each concert will be preceded by a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m. Here is the full season’s schedule:

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19
“Apotheosis of the Dance”
Pro Musical Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Cynthia Katsarelis, conductor, with Jennifer Hayghe, piano

  • Ben Morris: The Hill of Three Wishes
  • Florence Price: Piano Concerto in One Movement
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, op. 92

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023
“Through the Looking Glass”
Pro Musical Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Cynthia Katsarelis, conductor, with Meta Weiss, cello

  • Caroline Shaw: Entr’acte
  • Haydn: Cello Concerto in C major
  • Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A major, K201

7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29
“Transfigured Night”
Pro Musical Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Cynthia Katsarelis, conductor, with Harumi Rhodes, violin, and Richard O’Neill, viola

  • Jessie Lausé: World premiere
  • Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola in E-flat major, K364
  • Arnold Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht

TICKETS  

# # # # #

Boulder Opera has announced their 11th season, featuring a family-themed production for the holiday season and a French Grand Opera early in 2023.

The first production of the season will be Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, which is a perennial holiday event for families with children in Germany and Austria. The Boulder opera production, scheduled for Dec. 9 through 18 at the Dairy Arts Center, will be presented in an abridged English version with narrator. 

Designed as an ideal introduction to opera, the performances will last only one hour, and include a Q&A session after each performance. The performance is suitable for children age three and up.

After the new year, Boulder Opera will present two performances of Manon by Jules Massenet, one of the classics of the French Grand Opera tradition. Performances will be Feb. 18 and 19 in the Dairy Arts Center. Here is the full schedule:

Engelbert Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel
Boulder Opera, stage directed by Michael Travis Risner
Aric Vihmeisterr, piano, and Mathieu D’Ordine, cello

7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9
2 and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 and Saturday, Dec. 17
2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18
Grace Gamm Theater, Dairy Arts Center

TICKETS  

Jules Massenet: Manon
Boulder Opera, Steven Aguiló-Arbues, conductor, and Gene Roberts, stage director

7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18
3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19
Gordon Gamm Theater, Dairy Arts Center

TICKETS   

Boulder Opera to present Verdi’s ‘Il trovatore’

Performances will be at the Dairy Arts Center March 19 and 20. 

By Izzy Fincher March 15 at 12:15 p.m.

What is the secret to pulling off Verdi’s Il trovatore? According to the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, it’s easy—as long as you have “four of the greatest singers in the world.”

As part of their 10th Anniversary Season, the Boulder Opera Company will present Il trovatore (The troubadour) March 19 and 20 at the Dairy Arts Center. With scenic projections, a reduced orchestra and a chorus, this four-act opera is one of the company’s most ambitious, large-scale productions to date. 

Azucena (Dianela Acosta) in the Boulder Opera production of Verdi’s Il trovatore

Il trovatore is a hard opera to present, with four principal roles that require large, dramatic voices and demanding vocal techniques. This is especially true for the lead female characters. The Romany woman Azucena (played by Dianela Acosta) needs a lyrical yet dramatic mezzo soprano with a large range, while noblewoman Leonora (Michelle Diggs-Thompson) needs a coloratura soprano voice that is both flexible and hefty. 

“Now that I have been singing for a while, I think that Verdi has kind of settled in my voice,” Diggs-Thompson says. “I don’t think I would have been able to pull off this role 20 years ago.”

Beyond this, the opera poses an artistic challenge—that of bringing to life an impossibly melodramatic storyline with twisted characters in a relatable way. Set in 16th-century war-torn Spain, this blood-curdling tale of revenge features burning babies, kidnapping, beheading, gypsy curses and death by poison.

Premiered in 1853, Il trovatore is a part of a group of three operas by Verdi, along with Rigoletto (1851) and La traviata (1853), that represented a fundamental shift in his dramatic style. Il trovatore is based on Spanish playwright Antonio García Gutiérrez’s first commercial success, El trovador (The troubadour) of 1836. 

For the adaptation, Verdi worked with prolific librettist Salvadore Cammarano, best known for Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. In his correspondence with Cammarano, Verdi urged the playwright to stay true to the sensationalism in the original play, stating “the more unusual and bizarre the better.” Initially, he wanted to call the opera La zingara (The Gypsy), in honor of Azucena, who is at the heart of the melodrama. 

The Count di Luna (Karl Butterman)

The plot centers around a twisted love triangle. In the kingdom of Aragon, Count Di Luna (Karl Butterman), a nobleman in the service of the prince, is madly in love with Leonora, one of the Queen’s noblewomen. But she is in love with another man: Manrico (Nathan Snyder), a troubadour and officer in the army of the Prince of Urgel and Azucena’s son, who is leading rebel forces against the monarchy.

“Manrico is a hot-head,” says Snyder. “Verdi writes him in such a bombastic way. It’s electrifying.”

“This story is so powerful (because) it deals with three faces of love,” stage director Gene Roberts says. “It deals with romantic love at the center of the story. It deals with the fierceness of a mother’s love and how that lasts over many years. But the one that seems to be the most powerful in this story and the undoing of everyone is obsessive love.”

But what drives the opera forward is a thirst for revenge, which is introduced in the convoluted backstory. Years ago, a Romany woman set a curse upon Di Luna’s infant brother, causing the child to become sick. The Count had the woman burned at the stake. To avenge her mother, the woman’s daughter—Azucena—kidnapped the infant and supposedly threw him into the fire. The Count swears to get his revenge, though this will ultimately destroy him and those he loves. 

“When you are really obsessed with the thought of vengeance, it colors everything, even love,” Roberts says. “Love can become really obsessive. If you can’t have it, no one can have it. Focusing on your vendetta, rather than forgiving those around you, can blind you from seeing those who are close to you.

“There are surprises in this story until the last eight measures of music.”

Manrico (Nathan Snyder center-right) confronts (L-R) the Count di Luna (Karl Butterman) and Ferrando (Allen Adair)

Despite the melodramatic plot, Il trovatore features some of Verdi’s most profound and innovative music. 

Verdi incorporates elements of Spanish music, such as flamenco rhythms and guitar-like textures, as well as Moorish and Romany music. There are numerous quotable melodies, including the iconic “Anvil Chorus” in Act II with clanging anvils, triangles, cymbals and drums, Azucena’s “Stride la vampa,” Manrico’s “Di quella pira” and Leonora’s “Miserere.”

“Verdi has this powerful way of completely melding the drama and the music,” Snyder says. “He puts it right into your face, and it’s a blast.”

# # # # #

Il trovatore
By Giuseppe Verdi and Salvadore Cammarano
Boulder Opera Company
Jorge Salazar, conductor; Gene Roberts, stage director
With Michelle Diggs-Thompson, Nathan Snyder, Karl Butterman and Dianela Acosta
Performed in Italian with English titles 

7 p.m. Saturday, March 19
3 p.m. Sunday, March 20
Gordon Gamm Theater, Dairy Arts Center

TICKETS

Boulder Opera presents a family show about a misbehaving child

Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges will be at the Dairy Center Dec. 17–19

By Peter Alexander Dec. 14 at 10:15 p.m.

You cannot accuse the Boulder Opera Company of a lack of ambition.

Dianela Acosta

The small company under the direction of Dianela Acosta has presented such staples of the repertoire as Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Mascagni‘s Cavalleria rusticana and Puccini’s La Bohème, as well as operatic rarities by César Cui and Xavier Montsalvatge. That’s in addition to free opera in the park at Boulder‘s Bandshell, concert performances of arias, and outreach to local schools.

All on a small budget, which means the numbers of singers and other musicians, and the extent of the scenery must all be limited. Boulder Opera’s sets and costumes are generally bare bones, and the accompaniment may be only a piano, or piano with a handful of instruments. 

Acosta doesn’t let those limitations stop her. “If I had any hesitation, I wouldn’t have done anything,” she says. She and the crew always find a way to convey the story, and the singers she hires are young professionals whose skill and dedication overcome the musical obstacles. For 10 years Boulder Opera has been reaching a growing audience.

Their next production aimed at families is only about 50 minutes in length, but it is one of the most challenging works yet: Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges (The child and the spells), about a child who misbehaves badly but provides a lesson about kindness and forgiveness. Performances will be Dec. 17 and 19 in the Grace Gamm Theater at the Dairy Arts Center (details below).

The libretto by renowned French writer Colette tells the story of a child who throws a temper tantrum, tearing pages from his schoolbooks and wallpaper from the walls, breaking china and kicking the furniture. The scene suddenly transforms to the garden outside, where animals and objects gang up for revenge, until the child performs a simple act of kindness and is forgiven.

“Finding a subject that was kid-friendly was one of our goals,” Acosta says. “There is this message of kindness at the end. It’s the idea of unconditional love. He is a child and you have to forgive him once he comes out of his tantrum.”

The cast of Boulder Opera’s production of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortiléges. Jenna Clark (center) sings the role of Lenfant.

The score lists more than 20 different singing characters plus a chorus, and it calls for plenty of stage magic—a fire that comes to life, singing furniture, dishes, cats, squirrels, frogs, a dragonfly and a tree, characters from the torn wallpaper and the ripped book, and the transformation of the child’s room into a garden. Here, this must all be done by a cast of 10 and without extensive stage machinery. Costumes are expressive but not elaborate, to keep the changes fast and simple.

L’Enfant et les sortilèges is not done often because of the large cast and the scenery changes,” Acosta says. “As a small company it was a daunting project, but not only have we double cast”—that is, most singers perform more than one role—”most of the characters are also singing in the ensemble. We have a great creative team. Everyone has been very organized and they put their heads together to accomplish it.”

Acosta has been working mostly behind the scenes, so a lot of the challenges fell on the shoulders of stage director Dana Kinney. “You would think with a short production it wouldn’t be so complicated,” she says. “But there are so many characters, all the props, all the costume changes—a lot definitely goes into this production.”

Dana Kinney

While the stage at the Dairy has limited technical resources, Kinney found a silver lining to that, too. “Much as I would love to have a fly-in set of the room into this magical garden, there’s so much happening on stage, (this production) actually gives the audience a chance to focus on the action.”

She said the greatest challenge was a scene where a math teacher and numbers rise out of a book the child has ripped apart. “The music is so active that the action onstage (is) very active as well. That is probably a three-minute scene that took three hours to stage! It’s like the chaos of the child’s head while doing math homework is played out in real life.”

Her favorite scene may be one between two cats, who sing meeows but no real words. “A scene like that is the easiest, because you don’t have to think about the text,” she says. “You can create your own story, and that’s a fun thing to work on. (The singers) are doing all the cat mannerisms, on the floor, and they’re taking complete ownership. It has a lot of playfulness.”

For all of the challenges created by Ravel’s opera, Kinney has enjoyed working with the cast. “I’ve been fortunate to work with this group,” she says. “Everything I threw their way, they committed to 100 percent. They have tried everything while also incorporating their own vision of the characters.

“This is going to be a really, really fun production!”

# # # # #

Maurice Ravel: L’enfant et les sortilèges (The child and the spells)
Boulder Opera Company
Steven Aguiló-Arbues, conductor; Dana Kinney, stage director
Maggie Hinchcliffe, piano
Performed in French with English titles

7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, and Saturday, Dec. 18
1 and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19

Grace Gamm Theater, Dairy Arts Center
TICKETS 
NOTE: The Diary Arts Center requires masks in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

SEE LA BOHÈME LIVE IN LONGMONT

Boulder Opera Company will perform La Bohème for a limited in-person audience.

By Izzy Fincher Nov. 10 at 12:45 p.m.

Are you tired of livestreams?

Live, socially-distanced opera in Longmont might be the answer.

Dickens Tavern and Opera House in Longmont. Photo by Sherri O’Hara.

The Boulder Opera Company will present Puccini’s La Bohème for a limited in-person audience on four dates, Nov. 13, 14, 19 and 22, at Longmont’s Dickens Opera House, a restaurant/live music venue. The performance will adhere to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, and audience members will be required to wear masks when not eating or drinking.

Michael Travis Risner

“We are excited to present (opera) live,” Michael Travis Risner, the Boulder Opera Company’s stage director, says. “That visceral, human experience of live performance is so valuable.”

“How long has it been since we have seen something truly live? Broadway is still dark. The entertainment and hospitality industries are almost down to zero because of the pandemic. There’s been a dearth of live performance these last eight months.”

La Bohème, premiered in 1896, is one of the most performed operas worldwide today. Based on Henri Muger’s novel, Scènes de la vie de bohème, the opera depicts the Bohemian lifestyle of an impoverished seamstress, Mimi, and her artistic friends, Rodolfo, Marcello, Musetta, Schaunard and Colline, all living in Paris during the 1830s. The tale is heart-rending and tragic, yet it is also full of passion, love, joy and humor.

Phoenix Gayles will be Boulder Opera’s Mimi

This performance of La Bohème will be set in 2020 COVID-19 times, rather than 19th century Paris. Mimi’s mysterious illness, which is later revealed as tuberculosis in the original story, will be left ambiguous—it could be COVID-19 or not. To keep her artistic friends safe, Mimi will enforce social distancing and mask-wearing for everyone as part of the staging.

“By setting (La Bohème) in a contemporary time, it is immediately more accessible,” Risner says. “I wanted to show the context in which we are all living right now.”

But staging an intimate romance while maintaining social distancing has not been easy.

“It’s a challenge getting an intimate show that is very much about love and relationships without having that physical intimacy,” Risner says. “I am asking a lot of (the singers) to really act hard, to convey what we need to without being physically close to each other.”

Nathan Snyder will play Rodolfo

Other COVID-19 related challenges have also impacted the production.

Weeks before the final performances, the pianist and music director, Steven Aguiló-Arbues, and three main singers quit, due to safety concerns about COVID-19. With no pianist, Colline, Musetta or Schaunard, Risner almost had to cancel the show.

Luckily, he soon found a new pianist/music director, Maggie Hinchliffe, and three replacement singers who were familiar with the roles, on short notice. Risner says he felt “very fortunate to find people,” especially with only five rehearsals left before the show.

“We just keep pushing forward,” Risner says. “We are 100% committed.”

Making the live performance safe for the audience and singers has been yet another challenge for Travis. During the show, singers will release high quantities of aerosols, which can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Audience members will also release aerosols while eating dinner without masks. 

To mitigate these risks, Risner has taken several precautions in collaboration with the Dickens Opera House. Dinner will be served before the performance, and masks will be required once the opera starts. The singers will be far away from each other on stage, at a significant distance from the audience. At intermission, everyone will leave the room to allow for ventilation, before returning for the final two acts. 

“I want people to feel safe,” Risner says. “I want people to feel confident. We will ask audience members to keep their masks on when they are not actively eating or drinking. We will ask them to be masked up the entire duration of the performance. The only difference from going out to a restaurant and taking your mask off to eat is that there are people singing 25-30 feet away from you.”

Despite all of the hurdles of live performances in 2020, Risner feels the Boulder Opera Company is as prepared as possible for their adaptation of La Bohème. He is excited to bring live music back and share the classic, touching love story with the greater Boulder community.

“It’s a timeless story about love, forgiveness and understanding,” Risner says. “It’s a slice of life, designed to be heightened realism.

“Hopefully, (the audience) sees a part of themselves reflected onstage and is moved in some way. That’s why we do what we do—to provide an escape from the craziness.”

# # # # #

Boulder Opera Company
La Bohème at Longmont’s Dickens Opera House

7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13
7 p.m. Saturday, Nov.14
7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19
1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22

Purchase in-person tickets for La Bohème here.

Livestream access for the Nov. 14 performance available here.

Two productions will bring live music back to Boulder

Outdoor performances Ag. 14–16 and Aug. 29 will observe Coronavirus safety protocols

By Peter Alexander (Aug. 11 at 11:20 p.m.)

Live music is back in Boulder—in a limited, outdoorsy sort of way.

Two outdoor performances later this month will provide live music, for the limited audiences who can get tickets. Both presenters have worked with Boulder Parks and Recreation Department to meet all health requirements. Both will be strictly social distanced, with limited numbers admitted and carefully spaced.

The Gerald Stazio Softball Fields parking lot, site of drive-in performances Aug. 14–16

Boulder Arts Outdoors will present what it calls “A socially-distanced drive-in performance pop-up” this coming weekend, Friday–Sunday, Aug. 14–16. The mixed program of classical, blue-grass, soul, salsa, dance and juggling, will be presented before a drive-in audience at the parking lot of the Gerald Stazio Softball Fields off 63rd Street in East Boulder.

Later in the month, Boulder Opera (BOC) will present its annual Opera in the Park performance in the Boulder Band Shell on Canyon Drive, to an audience limited to 175 people. The performance Saturday, Aug. 29, will be in two parts, with separate admission for each so that more people might have the opportunity to attend. The first half will be music from fairy-tale and fantasy operas, and the second half will be music from Zarzuelas, a popular genre of Spanish musical theater.

Mara Driscoll, the organizer of the Drive-In Festival, recently returned to Boulder from New York, where she dances at the Metropolitan Opera. “I’m still connected to the Boulder arts community, having gown up here, and as a performer I was feeling the disappearance of live performance,” she says.

The band Lady Romeo, one of the groups performing on Boulder Outdoor Arts
drive-in concert

“I really value everyone’s efforts to make things digital and to live stream, but we all know it’s just not the same. I was watching drive-in movie theaters pop up all over the country, and seeing how that made it possible for people to assemble safely, I thought, why not apply that same model to performance? There’s very, very stringent health regulations right now; a lot of the permit process was making sure that I could keep everyone socially distanced.”

The cars the parking lot will be spaced apart, in every second space, and arranged in a horseshoe shape for maximum visibility of the elevated stage located at one end of the lot. The music will be amplified, and also streamed through an FM transmitter for anyone who does not wish to lower their windows.

“The capacity is 40 vehicles, so people will be close enough to the stage that they can hear well, and see the performers,” Driscoll says. “It should feel like an outdoor amphitheater experience, you’re just looking through your windshield.”

The bluegrass duo Sugar Moon

Driscoll used her connections to the Boulder dance and music communities to invite artists and groups to be part of the performances. Some contacts suggested other performers, so that the total program grew to be extremely diverse. 

The schedules over the three nights includes members of the Boulder Symphony, the Renaissance-music vocal quintet Solis Singers, the soul/rock band Lady Romeo, the Bluegrass groups Chandler Holt & Eric Wiggs, Sugar Moon and Bowregard, djembe drumming by Abdoul Doumbia, a new piece created for the occasion by dancer Helanius J. Wilkins, Salsa dance by Marcela Lay and Musa Starseed, Third Law Dance/Theater, and juggling by Peter Davison. The program is slightly different each evening; the full program by date can be seen here

Helanius J. Wilkins

“It’s all about the artists,” Driscoll says. “I really wanted to create a platform for artists to do what they do. It’s exciting what everyone’s going to bring to the table, and I think audiences are going to go for this great ride and leave with a sense of awe at all the creativity and talent that’s right here in Boulder.”

Boulder Opera has offered “Opera in the Park” for several summers running, but this year was different due to the pandemic. “We definitely had to go through a lot of hoops putting in an application with the city of Boulder, to make sure we are following all of the safety precautions for performing live,” Dianela Acosta, the company’s artistic director, says.

“The event is going to be capped at 175 people, and we usually attract between 400 and 600. We have to do social-distance seating, and everybody has to wear masks. We’re going to have to set out some areas where people can sit and be six feet away from each other.

Boulder Opera’s 2019 “Opera in the Park”

The performance is free, Acosta notes, but audience members have to register in advance through Boulder Opera Web page , and bring a copy of their registration with them. Boulder Opera staff will be on hand to direct people to their seats and ensure that no-one who is not registered gets inside the audience area. 

“Our overhead expense have gone up, because there’s  lot of work we have to do to prepare for this,” Acosta says. “And then, for the performer’s safety, we follow the same guidelines, and there’s going to be a protective plastic barrier in front of the stage.”

The program is divide into two halves, each with its own theme and content. “You can register for the first part, or the second part of the concert, or you can register for both parts,” Acosta explains. The music from operas based on fairy tales, including “Hansel and Gretel” and “Cinderella,” on the first part might be more family oriented. The second part features music from a popular Spanish style of light opera, Zarzuela.

Singers from the 2019 performance of Boulder Opera’s “Opera in the Park”

Featured on the first half will be a scene from Hansel und Gretel by Humperdinck; an aria from Rimsky Korsakov’s Snow Maiden; “Olympia’s Song” and the “Barcarolle” duet from Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman; “Song to the Moon” from Rusalka by Dvořák, an opera based on the same folk tale as “The Little Mermaid”; a duet and quartet from El Gato con Botas (“Puss in Boots”) by Spanish composer Xavier Montsalvage; and several numbers from La Cenerentola (“Cinderella”) by Rossini.

Forming the second half of he program, “Zarzuela is a traditional opera from Spain,” Acosta says. “It’s based on the folkloric tales and folk songs that have been adapted for operatic singing. And it’s very well known in Spain.”

Dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Zarzuela is contemporaneous with the rise of operetta and musical comedy in the U.S. Neither the titles nor the composers—including Gerónimo Giménez, Federico Moreno-Torroba and Francisco  Barbieri—are familiar to American audiences. Singers for both halves of the program are members of the Boulder Opera company, including Acosta herself. They will be accompanied on piano by Nathália Kato, the BOC staff pianist.

“Our theme is opera for people, and we want to bring these beautiful pieces to our audience as a way to bring the community together,” Acosta says. For those we cannot be brought together on this occasion, when the audience size is limited, the performance will be live streamed through the BOC Facebook page

“That [distanced performing] is going to be just for a little while, and then we are going to hopefully meet together soon again,” Acosta says. “[Online viewing] cannot replace live performances. That’s the beauty of what we do, performing in a live stage! 

“Nothing can substitute for what it means to be sitting there and feeling the vibration of the voice in the instant.”

# # # # #

Boulder Arts Outdoors: “Drive-in Festival”
6:30 p.m. Friday–Sunday, Aug. 14–16
Gerald Stazio Softball Fields parking lot
Tickets

Boulder Opera: “Fairy-Tale Opera, Zarzuela and Dance”
7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29: Fairy-Tale Fantasy
8:10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29: Zarzuela and Dance
Boulder Bandshell, 1212 Canyon Drive
Tickets
Live stream on the Boulder Opera Facebook page

Boulder Opera presents “purrr-fect introduction to opera”

Montsalvatge’s Puss in Boots will be presented in English and Spanish

By Peter Alexander Jan. 30 at 3:15 p.m.

“It’s a purrr-fect introduction to opera,” Dianela Acosta says about the Boulder Opera’s current production of Gato en botas (Puss in boots) by Spanish composer Xavier Montsalvatge.

pussinboots1

Boulder Opera’s production of “Puss in Boots”: Winona Martin, Nathan Snyder, Jennifer Burks, Steven Groth (l-r)

Acosta is the company’s executive artistic director and a cast member, and she is excited about the upcoming performances, which will be offered in both the original Spanish (with English titles) and in English. “The music is gorgeous,” she says.

”There’s moments of Puccini, there’s Mozart, there’s Handel, there’s recitative, it’s very melodic. It’s also very surprising, the music. It’s beautiful.”

With two separate casts, one for each language, the production will be presented six times over the next two weekends, Thursday Jan. 30 through Saturday Feb. 8 (see dates and times below). Performing in both the original Spanish and in an English translation is part of Boulder Opera’s outreach to area schools—in this case bilingual schools in particular.

“We have a lot of partnerships with schools in the area that are bilingual,” Acosta says. “They’re super interested, because there are not a lot of cultural activities in Spanish. We’ve been really successful with this opera in doing outreach.”

Acosta says that they have arranged for 600 students from 10 different school to attend performances. “We tie it to an educational study guide that talks a little bit about the different elements of the opera, a little bit of the history of the composer, and the history of opera,” she says.

Though unfamiliar to American audiences, Montsalvatge (mont-sahl-VAHT-jeh) is well known in Spain. Acosta, who is Spanish, has sung his art songs, but had not known the opera until she was looking for fairy-tale operas for outreach to families and younger audiences. He wrote Gato con Botas in the 1940s, combining traditional operatic forms and styles with contemporary styles including jazz.

ICarriage

The Princess (Jennifer Burks), King (Steven Groth) and Miller (in river; Nathan Snyder)

The opera is based on the familiar tale of “Puss in Boots,” a conniving cat who uses various tricks to pass off his owner, a poor miller, as a nobleman. He saves his own life in the process, kills an ogre, and arranges for the miler to marry a princess. Naturally, everyone lives happily ever after.

Ashley Gulbranson, music director of the production, says “This is a very accessible opera. It’s two acts with five scenes, and will last less than 60 minutes. So it’s a really great introduction to opera.”

The two casts are entirely separate, with most of the Spanish cast members native Spanish speakers. Having two casts does add to the time needed for rehearsals—”We’ve been having three hour rehearsals, and usually we do about half with one cast, half with another,” Gulbranson says.

That also adds to the cost to the company, but Acosta, who sings el Gato (the cat) in the Spanish cast, said it would have been nearly impossible to perform in both languages with only one cast. “It’s difficult to keep it straight, to keep [the different texts] separate,” she says. “So we just went ahead and hired a Spanish cast.”

To Boulder Opera, the expense is worth it because it contributes directly to their mission of making opera accessible and developing new audiences. “One of the reasons I wanted to do this opera is that it’s part of our children’s series,” Gulbranson says.

“Those performances are reaching a greater audience and getting children and families introduced to the operatic art form.”

# # # # #

Puss in Boots by Xavier Montsalvatge
Boulder Opera, Michael Travis Risner, artistic director and stage director
Nadia Artman, executive producer, set and costume designer

Performances at E-Town Hall, 1535 Spruce St, Boulder:
10 a.m. and 12 noon Thursday, Jan. 30 (performed in Spanish with English titles)
2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 (performed in English)
4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 (performed in Spanish with English titles)
3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2 (English)

Performance at Center for Musical Arts, 200 E. Baseline Rd., Lafayette:
3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 (performed in English)

Tickets

 

Boulder Opera presents mixed double bill of contrasting works, May 3–12

Hilarious comedy and heart-rending tragedy make “quite a buffet” 

By Peter Alexander May 2, 2019, at 2:20 p.m.

Boulder Opera, a bare-bones company now in its seventh season of offering educational programs and entertaining, stripped down performances, will present two distinctly dissimilar works for their spring production.

DSC_0316

Bryce Bartu as Deluso and Mary Elisabeth Kettelwell as Rosine in “Signor Deluso.” Photo courtesy of Boulder Opera.

The two works are Signor Deluso, a rollicking comedy by American composer Thomas Pasatieri, and Cavalleria Rusticana, a melodramatic tale of betrayal and murder by Pietro Mascagni. Lorraine Fitzmaurice will conduct the performances which are directed by Gene Roberts from Metropolitan State University in Denver. The cast of local singers will give five performances in slightly more than a week, May 3–12 (details below).

Lorraine Fitzmaurice

Lorraine Fitzmaurice

The two operas together add up to about 90 minutes of music, plus an intermission. Performances will be in Boulder’s intimate Nomad Playhouse.

Pianist Jordan Ortman, who is staff accompanist at Metro State and assistant organist at Boulder’s First United Methodist Church, will accompany both operas. For Cavalleria he will be joined by a string quartet playing a reduced version of the orchestral score.

Boulder Opera artistic director Dianela Acosta picked the two works. “Cavalleria had been in my mind for at least three years that I wanted to do it,” she says. To go with Cavalleria, a dark tragedy, “I wanted to do something that was very contrasting in mood,” she says.

JordanOrtman-500x500

Jordan Ortman

Signor Deluso is filled with imagined betrayals that are “kind of like a comedy of errors,” Acosta says. “I wanted to tie it in with the theme of betrayal, and be very contrasting. It goes with the other betrayal that is a real betrayal and serious drama.”

Pasatieri is probably one of the most prolific composers and successful composers most people have never heard of. He has written 24 operas, of which Signor Deluso, with more than 10,000 performances to date, is the most successful. It was written when the composer was just 28.

Pasatieri

Thomas Pasatieri

The plot of Signor Deluso is too convoluted to easily summarize, but the opera is 30 minutes cram packed with the kind of mistaken assumptions and ridiculous confusions that have been the staple of comic opera from the very beginning. In the words of music critic Anne Midgette, it’s “an exuberant sendup of over-the-top comic opera plots, filled with effusive lovers leaping with alacrity to wrong conclusions in floods of extreme vocalism.”

“This story is one misunderstanding on top of another,” Roberts explains, “until of course the maid, which is a parody of (conventional comic) opera, comes in and straightens everything out. And everyone of course lives happily ever after. This piece, which I have come to love, works so well and it’s so much fun to work on. It’s just wonderful.”

“The cast is fabulous top to bottom. They’ve enjoyed finding the funny little moments in the music and making then work physically,” Roberts says. “It makes me, even knowing what’s coming, burst out in laughter every time.”

Roberts

Gene Roberts

It would be harder to go farther in the opposite direction from the imaginary betrayals without consequences that form the plot of Deluso than the high drama of Cavalleria, where the betrayals are real and the consequences severe. “This one is big feelings from the start to the end,” Roberts says. “All the emotions in this music are big, big, big.”

Cavalleria Rusticana was written for a competition in 1890, when Mascagni was 26. The first performance was greeted with ecstatic applause, as Mascagni was called back for 40 curtain calls and the opera won the first prize.

The plot concerns a series of betrayals leading to revenge and death. The events take place on Easter morning in a Sicilian village, where Santuzza learns that she has been betrayed by Turridu, who was previously betrayed by his former fiancée Lola, who now also betrays her husband, Alfio.

DSC_0302

Michelle Diggs-Thompson as Santuzza and Joshua Zabatta as Turridu in “Cavalleria Rusticana.” Photo courtesy of Boulder Opera.

In addition to dramatic arias and duets, the score includes a number of pieces that have become audience favorites, including a Sicilian dance song, or siciliana; an offstage Regina Coeli, sung by the chorus; a rousing drinking song; and an orchestral intermezzo that has become famous in its own right.

Roberts compares the combination of a short, effervescent comedy and Cavalleria with the convention of pairing cartoons with serious films. “I grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s,” he says. “We’d go to the cinema and see a drama and there was a cartoon before the main feature.

“This (double bill) is quite a buffet. Cavalleria seems like the main course and maybe we have dessert first in this case, like the cartoon before the movie. Signor Deluso gets people into a mood where they’re enjoying what’s coming to them, and then an intermission and this gorgeous, gorgeous music.

“It will be a lovely, lovely evening spent in the theater.”

# # # # #

Opera Double Bill
Signor Deluso by Thomas Pasatieri
Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni

Boulder Opera, Lorraine Fitzmaurice, conductor
Gene Roberts, stage director

7:30 pm. Friday—Saturday, May 3–4
7 p.m. Wednesday. May 8
7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11
2 p.m. Sunday, May 12
Nomad Playhouse 1410 Quince Ave., Boulder

Tickets

Boulder Opera presents Little Red Riding Hood for young audiences Dec. 7–9

Opera by Russian composer Cesar Cui will have its Colorado premiere

By Peter Alexander Dec. 5 at 2:20 p.m.

César Cui (pronounced SAY-zar KWEE) is not a household name, anywhere. But he was an interesting person who wrote music that is always worth hearing.

240px-Ilya_Repin_-_Cesar_Cui

Portrait of César Cui by Ilya Respin

Born in 1835 in Vilnius, now Lithuania and then part of the Russian Empire, his principal career was as an officer and engineer in the Russian Imperial Army. But he also studied piano from childhood and pursued music as an avocation. With Mily Balakirev, Borodin, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, he was one of the Russian nationalist composers known as “Moguchaya kuchka” (the mighty handful).

Among other works, he wrote more than a dozen operas, including several children’s operas—which is what recommended Cui to Dianela Acosta and the Boulder Opera, who will present the first Colorado performances of his 40-minute Little Red Riding Hood this weekend (Friday–Sunday, Dec. 7–9) at Boulder Nomad Playhouse.

“We’re always looking for new material to present,” says Acosta, Boulder Opera’s artistic director who also plays the mother in the production. “Especially stories that are well known, to continue with our mission to introduce the younger generation to opera.”

BOC RR-26

Page Sentianin as Little Red Riding Hood and Joshua South as the Wolf for Boulder Opera Company

For Little Red Riding Hood, they are presenting three performance to school groups Thursday and Friday, with support from the Boulder Arts Commission. They have prepared a study guide that is useful for anyone attending the opera, and each performance will be followed by Q&A session for the audience with cast members.

“We love to do these Q&A at the end of the performances,” Acosta says. “The kids get to ask questions and then we ask them questions, and it’s very engaging. And because the opera is so short we decided to explore a little bit more of Cui’s music. We chose a short piano piece called ‘Orientale’ that our pianist, Deborah Schmit-Lobis, will play between the two acts.”

Cui’s music is in the familiar Romantic style of the mid-19thcentury, but with a definite Russian flavor. “There’s a lot of folkloric elements in the music,” Acosta says. “Vocally it’s not very difficult. The music really is there to tell the story, so it’s very descriptive for each character.

“Its a beautiful piece that just tells the story.”

Cui’s music is not widely available. In this case, Mathieu D’Ordine, who has conducted for Boulder Opera in the past, created a chamber arrangement that will be played by pianist Schmit-Lobis and a quartet of woodwind players.

Dianela.A

Boulder Opera Company’s artistic director Daniela Acosta

In the past, Boulder Opera has toured its productions to Longmont, Broomfield and Lafayette. This year, all their performances—both Little Red Riding Hood and performances in May of Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Thomas Pasatieri’s Signor Deluso—will be presented in Boulder’s Nomad Playhouse.

Staying in one place gives the company the opportunity to build solid sets and invest more in the production, Acosta says. “The logistics of traveling was getting really taxing,” she says. “Instead of putting all of our efforts into touring, we’re enhancing our productions with the costumes and the sets.”

That initiative has been assisted by contributions from Nadia Artman, a member of the Boulder Opera board who is also credited as co-producer of Little Red Riding Hood.

Higher quality sets and costumes are clear signs of success for the Boulder Opera Company, but Acosta stays focused on the mission of the company, to bring opera to new and younger audiences. “It’s such a great thing to introduce children to opera,” she says. “That’s what we’re trying to do.

“It’s a familiar story with a happy ending, so it’s fun and educational at the same time.”

# # # # #

BOC-Little+Red+no+text+Little Red Riding Hood by Cesar Cui (Colorado premiere)
Arranged by Mathieu D’Ordine
Boulder Opera Company

1 and 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7
2 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8
1 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9
The Nomad Playhouse, 1410 Quince Ave., Boulder

Information and tickets 

Three Classical Music groups announce seasons for 2018–19

Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Ars Nova and Boulder Opera set their schedules

By Peter Alexander July 12 at 1:45 p.m.

Three different classical musical organizations in Boulder—Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Ars Nova Singers and Boulder Opera—have recently made public their planned season for the coming year. The full season for each group is listed below.

First out of the blocks will be the Boulder Opera Company, with a free concert in the Boulder Bandshell at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. The performance with piano, co-sponsored by the City of Boulder, will feature highlights from Puccini’s La Bohème and other popular operas.

Boulder Opera

Boulder Opera Company

Over the three days span Dec. 7–9, Boulder Opera will present the Colorado premiere of Little Red Riding Hood by Russian composer Cèsar Cui. All six matinee performances of this 35-minute work will be accompanied by piano and string quartet, and will offer the opportunity for children to sing ensemble parts. Part of Boulder Opera’s educational program, Little Red Rising Hood will also be taken to after-school programs and the Center for Musical Arts in Lafayette.

The season will conclude May 3 through 12 with the paring of two one-act operas, the comedy Signor Deluso by Thomas Pastieri, sung in English; and the tragic Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) by Pietro Mascagni, sing in Italian with English titles.

In addition to these performances, Boulder Opera will present a public masterclass in Italian opera Tuesday, Aug. 14, and a fund-raising Gala Concert, featuring highlights from the season Friday, Oct. 12.

Executive/artistic director of Boulder Opera is Dianela Acosta. More information on Boulder Opera can be found here.

ANScircleground

Ars Nova Singers

Ars Nova Singers title their 2018–19 season “New Horizons.” Over four concerts the season covers a wide musical spectrum, from the opening concert of “Sacred Jazz” in October, featuring Will Todd’s Mass in Blue for soprano, choir and jazz ensemble, described as “religious doctrine meets funk”; to February’s program featuring the Renaissance “Earthquake Mass” of Antoine Brumel, which has been called “one of the true marvels of Renaissance choral writing.”

The annual Ars Nova Holiday concert in December will feature the Colorado premiere of The Consolation of Apollo by Kile Smith, a work celebrating the 1968 Christmas Eve broadcast by the crew of Apollo 8. The program will also include music for the holiday season.

Ars Nova will conclude the season with “A Celebration of Colorado Artistry: Shared Visions 2.” The Arts Nova Web page describes this multi-disciplinary collaborative project: “In the summer of 2018, an online gallery of works by Colorado visual artists will be assembled. Then, poets from across the state will view the gallery and use the images as a basis for writing new poetry. This new poetry will be assembled into an anthology, and Arts Nova will commission four Colorado composers to use this anthology to create new music for chorus.”

The artistic director and conductor of Ars Nova is Thomas Edward Morgan. More information on Ars Nova Singers can be found here.

Boulder Chamber Orchestrawill present five full orchestral concerts during the year under music director Bahman Saless, plus a season-opening chamber music concert by violinist Lindsay Deutsch and her piano trio Take 3, with pianist Susan Boettger and cellist Lila Yang.

bconew_1

Boulder Chamber Orchestra

Over the season, the BCO will feature several soloists from the CU faculty: pianist David Korevaar playing Mozart in December; violinist Edward Dusinberre, also playing Mozart in February; and violist Geraldine Walther playing an arrangement for viola and strings of Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet. Violinist Chloe Trevor will be a guest soloist in November, playing the Vivaldi Four Seasons concertos as well as the Piazzolla Four Season of Buenos Aires.

In addition to Mozart, the December program will include Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto” and settings of holiday carols. Among the latter will be one of the more unusual pieces of the BCO season, Weihnachtsmusik by Arnold Schoenberg, which is actually a little known but perfectly lovely setting of the familiar German Christmas hymn Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (known as “Lo, how a rose e’er blooming”).

The season will end in May with a concert featuring BCO members Cobus DuToit, flute, and Bridget Kibbey, harp, playing Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp.

Not on the schedule this year will be a New Year’s Eve concert, which BCO has made part of their season for several years. According to Saless, more and more orchestras are filling that slot in the calendar, so the BCO performance was no longer unique.

More information on the Boulder Chamber Orchestra can be found here.

# # # # #

 

BOULDER OPERA
Dianela Acosta, artistic director
2018–19 season

Italian Opera Masterclass with Anthony Michaels-Moore
Congregation Nevei Kodesh, 1925 Glenwood Dr., Boulder
2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14

Opera in the Park
Boulder Bandshell
7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18
Free

Gala Concert
The Studio, 3550 Frontier Avenue, Boulder
7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12

Family Series
Cèsar Cui: Little Red Rising Hood
The Nomad Playhouse, 1410 Quince Ave, Boulder
1 & 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7
2 & 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8
1 & 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9
Sung in English

Thomas Pastieri: Signor Deluso (Sung in English)
Pietro Mascagni:Cavalleria Rusticana (Sung in Italian with English titles)
The Nomad Playhouse, 1410 Quince Ave, Boulder
7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3
7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4
7 p.m. Wednesday, May 8
7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11
3 p.m. Sunday, May 12

More information here

ARS NOVA SINGERS
Thomas Edward Morgan, artistic director
2018–19 Season
“New Horizons”

Sacred Jazz
7:30 p.m. Friday, October 5, SJE (St. John’s Episcopal Church, Boulder)
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oc.t 6, BLC (Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village)
Will Todd: Mass in Blue

In the Moon of Wintertime
7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, SJE
4 p.m. Sunday, Dec 9, SPDen (St. Paul Community of Faith, Denver)
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, SJE
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, FCC (First Congregational Church, Longmont)
Kile Smith: The Consolation of Apollo(Colorado premiere)
Holiday Music

Music of the Renaissance: The Earthquake Mass
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, SJE
4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, SPDen
Antoine Brumel: Missa Et ecce terra motus (Mass “And behold the earth moved”)

A Celebration of Colorado Artistry: Shared Visions 2
7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, BLC
7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, SJE
New works by Colorado composers

More information here

BOULDER CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Bahman Saless, music director
2018–19 Season

Saturday October 6, SDA (Seventh Day Adventist Church)
Take 3: Susan Boettger, piano; Lindsay Deutsch, violin; and Lila Yang, cello

Friday Nov. 30, BA (Broomfield Auditorium); Sat. Dec. 1, SDA
Chloe Trevor, violin
Vivaldi: Four Seasons
Piazzolla: Four Season of Buenos Aires
Janáček: Suite for strings

Friday Dec. 21, BA; Sat. Dec. 22, SDA
David Korevaar, piano
Mozart: Piano Concerto in B-flat Major, K595
Handel: Concerto Grosso, op. 3 no. 1
Corelli: Concerto Grosso op. 6 no. 8, “Christmas Concerto”
Schoenberg: Weihnachtsmusik (Christmas Music)
Selected Holiday Carols

Friday Feb. 1 (BA); Sat, Feb. 2, 2019 (Boulder)
Edward Dusinberre, Violin
Mozart: Violin Concerto in G major, K216
Sibelius: Suite Mignonne
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings

Friday March 29, (BA); Sat, March 30 (SDA)
Geraldine Walther, viola
Brahms: Clarinet Quintet, arranged for viola and strings
Verdi: String Quartet, arranged for string orchestra

May 12 (SDA) (Sunday Matinee)
Cobus DuToit, flute; Bridget Kibbey harp
Mozart: Concerto for Flute and Harp, K299/291c
Debussy: Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun
Mozart: Symphony No. 33

More information here
Season tickets