Opera in the Ozarks presents children's outreach performances

Friday, May 31, 2019

Opera in the Ozarks, the nationally acclaimed summer music festival and prominent training program in Eureka Springs, will perform a series of outreach operas in Northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri for young audiences and their families.

Opera in the Ozarks will present more than a dozen performances of “Monkey See, Monkey Do” at area libraries and other community locations. The performances are free or low cost and are open to the public. The first performance is Tuesday, June 4, at Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville.

Based on a Mexican folk tale, “Monkey See, Monkey Do” is a delightful one-act bilingual opera by composer Robert Xavier Rodriguez. It tells the story of a sombrero seller whose hats are stolen by a band of monkeys – and who cleverly manages to get them back, while, incidentally, winning the hand of a lady.

Costumed and staged with a traveling set, “Monkey See, Monkey Do” is directed by Opera in the Ozarks’ own David Ward, who is one of America’s leading basso buffos. The opera features songs in English and Spanish performed by a cast of talented Opera in the Ozarks studio artists.

“David Ward, our master of silliness and fun, is directing this bilingual romp, complete with folk songs, Mariachi music and singing monkeys,” said Nancy Preis, Opera in the Ozarks general director. “With elements of audience participation, children will have the opportunity to make their own noise, too!”

Each performance will last about an hour, with time afterward for children to get photos with and autographs from the artists. The Carroll County performances are:

• A free performance at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 6, at the Berryville Public Library at 104 Spring St.

• A free performance at 3 p.m. Monday, July 1, at the Eureka Springs Public Library at 194 Spring St.

• A low-cost performance at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 6, at the Eureka Springs Auditorium at 36 S. Main St. Children under 18 get in free, and tickets are $10 for adults.

• A free performance at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 16, at the Green Forest Public Library at 206 E. Main St.

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

The season includes 22 fully staged and costumed opera productions, including new Ice Cream Sunday matinees, a special Chamber Music concert at Mildred B. Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista, a new Broadway Cabaret show at the Fayetteville Town Center and more.

This season’s operas are “The Abduction From The Seraglio,” Mozart’s rollicking comedy and an Opera in the Ozarks premiere; “La Bohème,” one of the world’s most popular operas by Puccini; and the classic American opera “Little Women” by Mark Adamo based on Louisa May Alcott’s story of the four March sisters.

Single tickets 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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