Photo courtesy of Steve Shogren
From now until July 19th Opera in the Ozarks presents three popular favorites, Madame Butterfly, The Elixir of Love, and the Pirates of Penzance. Operas start at 7:30 PM at Inspiration Point on Highway 62 West and are proceeded by 30 minute talks with cast members which are facilitated by General Director Jim Swiggart. Locals know Jim as a model modern major general director*. This year, Jim and his cast of nationally vetted student singers, usher in the Opera's 63rd year.
Opera in the Ozarks is a non-profit organization and has served as the training ground for many successful performers. Every year two different casts are selected from national auditions. This year, more than 250 people auditioned. Natalie Lassinger, a soprano with an M.M. in Voice Performance from the University of Kansas City, said, "Selection by OITO is an important resume builder and music companies all over the United States take the work we do here very seriously. I am very proud to be a part of Opera in the Ozarks."
People who not opera regulars, or think all opera is Wagner (with a "V") and a bit over-blown, will find each of this year's operas accessible, familiar, and entertaining. Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance is especially funny, sung in English, and is performed by a cast of very attractive and talented young singers and actors. Be sure to catch the informative and lively 30 minute talks before each performance.
* Thank you Gilbert and Sullivan!