59th season of Opera in the Ozarks opens June 19 with double playbill

Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Cast members in the opera Gianni Schicci performed during Opera in the Ozarks' 2006 season.

EUREKA SPRINGS --On June 19 the highly acclaimed Opera in the Ozarks will launch its 59th season with a double bill of Ruggero Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci," coupled with Engelbert Humper­dinck's "Hansel & Gretel."

The following Saturday night Jules Massenet's "Manon" will open. Rounding out the 2009 season repertoire will be "Albert Herring" by Benjamin Britten on Thursday, June 25. Performances will continue through July 17. On June 27 and July 3, the troupe will perform at Bentonville's Arend Arts Center.

Jim Swiggart, general director of Opera in the Ozarks since 1989, said, "This season promises to be one of our best. We are looking forward to a cast of talented young artists who will provide an inspiring evening of opera under the superb artistic direction of Roger Cantrell."

Swiggart, himself an alumnus, has continued the tradition of assisting young artists in the launching of their musical careers. "The opera training program is unique in the quality of instruction it provides and the number of performances packed into one season," Swiggert said. The summer schedule is intense, with rehearsals, one-on-one coaching and master classes in singing, acting, diction, movement, stage combat and the business of singing. The students, as well as the faculty, come from programs around the globe -- What a vision Henry Hobart had in 1950 when he began a program where 'The Students are the Stars!' Recently I heard two alumni, Chris Merritt and Cindia Sieden, sing at Santa Fe Opera in The Tempest and it made me so proud to have been a part of their artistic lives."

For specific performance schedules, community outreach programs and ticket information visit www.opera. org.

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