2019 OIO schedule announced

Friday, April 26, 2019

Opera in the Ozarks has announced its performance schedule for the 2019 season, including new “Ice Cream Sunday” matinees as well as a children’s opera series and special performances in Bella Vista and Fayetteville.

The 2019 summer season “Changes of Heart” will kick off Friday, June 21, and continue through Friday, July 19, at Opera in the Ozarks’ own mountainside venue, Inspiration Point.

The season includes 22 fully staged and costumed opera productions.

Opera in the Ozarks’ 69th season will showcase a cast of 39 singers and professional musicians from across the country. Together, they’ll perform the season’s repertoire featuring The Abduction From The Seraglio, a rollicking Mozart comedy; La Bohème, one of the world’s most popular operas by Puccini; and the classic American opera, Little Women, an adaption by Mark Adamo based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel.

The season’s new events include:

• Ice Cream Sunday matinees at Inspiration Point, with mainstage productions of La Bohème on June 30 and Little Women on July 7 with complimentary ice cream.

• Two Broadway Cabaret shows – one performed on July 10 at the Fayetteville Town Center, and the other on July 16 at Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs. Both evenings include light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

• Two Chamber Music concerts ­– one on July 14 at Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista, and the other the following night on July 15 at the Eureka Springs Auditorium.

• The exclusive A Taste of Opera dining event on July 17, featuring food, wine and vocal entertainment at Eureka Springs’ historic 1886 Crescent Hotel.

“We are thrilled to present this season and especially excited to be performing one of our Chamber Music concerts at the Mildred Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista, with its fabulous acoustics,” general director Nancy Preis said. “Our orchestra always sounds great as an ensemble, but in chamber music, you hear the individual instruments more clearly and can appreciate the artistry that the players bring.”

“Last season, we created a new Broadway Cabaret show at the Basin Park Hotel,” Preis continued. “It was a sold-out hit, so this season, we’ve expanded and added a second venue at the Fayetteville Town Center. Our singers love to sing Broadway and popular songs. What could be better than indulging in your favorite beverage while talented young artists perform your favorite Broadway tunes in an intimate setting?”

In addition, audiences won’t want to miss a free theatrical production by playwright and actress Nan Colton on July 7. “The Woman Behind Little Women” is a biographical sketch of author Louisa May Alcott performed before the afternoon’s mainstage production. Colton has created more than three dozen of these historical portraits of women, ranging from Georgia O’Keeffe and Catherine the Great to Agatha Christie.

Now in its 69th season, Opera in the Ozarks has earned a reputation as a prominent training ground for emerging opera professionals – and many alumni have gone on to sing on the world’s major operatic stages.

Artistic Director Thomas Cockrell said that while this season’s three operas are unified by the theme “Changes of Heart,” each will be distinct in time and place — two boldly transported from the settings originally intended by the composers.

“Mark Adamo’s moving score and masterful adaption of Alcott’s Little Women will be set traditionally, in Civil War-era Massachusetts,” Cockrell said. “Whereas director David Ward preserves the Parisian setting of Puccini’s beloved La Bohème, he brings the emotional drama forward in time from the mid-19th century to our own day. For Mozart’s opera, director Robert Swedberg keeps the late 18th century time period but absconds with the drama, lifting it from distant Turkey and setting down in the New World.”

The children’s opera series Monkey See, Monkey Do by composer Robert Xavier Rodriguez will include free or low-cost productions performed at community locations across Northwest Arkansas. Details will be announced soon.

Single tickets to mainstage productions are $25 and $30 for adults, and $10 for children and students 18 and under with valid ID.

Tickets may be purchased online at opera.org or by calling the Opera in the Ozarks box office at (479) 253-8595. For more information, visit opera.org.

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