News & Press

Apr 19, 2021
International Contemporary Ensemble Hosts Afro-Diasporic Opera Forum
The International Contemporary Ensemble, in partnership with Opera Omaha and FringeArts, presents the Afro-Diasporic Opera Forum online from May 26-28, 2021! The Forum is a free, three-day series of online events produced by colleagues and collaborators of the International Contemporary Ensemble in order to celebrate, share, and reflect on four operas that have had a major impact on the organization and collaborators.
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Feb 11, 2020
Virtuosic Vocals Reign Supreme in Omaha's Abduction: Schmopera Review
Opera Omaha’s production of The Abduction from the Seraglio brings vintage nightclub glam to Mozart’s beloved comedic Singspiel. The audience gets to enjoy the playful plot without all the dated humor and Turkish stereotypes that came with the original opera setting, a choice that allowed the virtuosic vocals to reign supreme. Rather than 16th-century Turkey, this production took place in 1930s Germany. Scenic designer Steven Kemp contrasted the grim exterior of Pasha’s kitchy Turkish-themed nightclub with pink neon and enticing advertisements. Inside the swank establishment was luxurious and colorful, an exotic oasis from the outside world. The rotating set allowed the audience to see backstage into the dressi...
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Feb 8, 2020
Rescue story, 20th century twist, Mozart's music make this Omaha opera 'outstanding': Omaha World-Herald Preview
Director Alison Moritz’s Opera Omaha debut was a success. The action of the story is animated, fun and natural. It’s difficult to make a preposterous story with unlikely characters — two men rescuing their lovers from a harem — come to life in an engaging way, and Moritz’s take on the story is fluid and charming. The characters’ relationships flourished under her vision, which involves the traditional Turkish setting taking on a 20th century twist.
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Nov 2, 2019
Karah Son A "True Jewel" of Opera Omaha's Madama Butterfly: Schmopera Review
Polka dots and Puccini! Opera Omaha’s production of Madama Butterfly is an intriguing marriage of modern art and musical drama. This opera classic intermingled with a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns to create a unique experience that celebrates collaboration between the visual and musical arts.
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Oct 30, 2019
Opera Omaha bringing back Madama Butterfly, designed by Kaneko: Omaha World-Herald Preview
A production of “Madama Butterfly” designed by noted Omaha artist Jun Kaneko stunned and delighted audiences when Opera Omaha debuted it in 2006. It’s now returning to the city for the first time since 2011 for two performances this weekend. Joseph Rescigno is conductor and Leslie Swackhamer is the director. The story of Giacomo Puccini’s opera is a familiar one: An innocent young Japanese woman falls in love with an American naval officer with tragic consequences that prompt her to sacrifice what she loves most. It’s one of the most popular operas of all time.
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May 14, 2019
ONE Festival Review: National Sawdust Log
In Review: ONE Festival Omaha, Nebraska March 30-April 14, 2019 Words: Xenia Hanusiak Opera Omaha’s ONE Festival, co-directed by the company’s general director, Roger Weitz, and director James Darrah, is a multidisciplinary two-week series that presents opera, installation, dance, exhibitions, and social gatherings designed to embrace Omaha’s creative community. The multi-venue festival also offers a generously supported platform for the next generation of creators, reflecting the company’s notable commitment to the breadth of operatic representation and audience growth. The festival is impressively international in scope, with creators and performers represented from across the globe, and extraordinarily well resourced. In this second iteration, two new productions occupied the central focus. A...
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May 2, 2019
ONE Festival 2019: Opera Omaha in Glass, Gounod, and Reid (I Care If You Listen Review)
ONE Festival 2019: Opera Omaha in Glass, Gounod, and Reid ANDREW STOCK on May 2, 2019 at 6:00 am Dotting the landscape of what can often seem like a stagnant operatic scene, festivals ensure that fresh air blows in unexpected places. This was true of Opera Omaha’s ONE Festival, which took place March 30–April 14, and which I attended during its final weekend from April 11–14. Under the leadership of Opera Omaha General Director Roger Weitz and Artistic Director James Darrah, the ONE Festival brought together musicians, dancers, filmmakers, and others for a multidisciplinary program in locations throughout the city, often throughout every day. Touring artists through a mix of variously-scaled works both old and new, O...
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Apr 16, 2019
Ellen Reid Wins Pulitzer for Prism: Composer's Generosity of Spirit and Notes, Berkshire Fine Arts Review
Ellen Reid Wins Pulitzer for Prism: Composer's Generosity of Spirit and Notes By: Susan Hall - Apr 16, 2019 Ellen Reid has been a hot item this year. Four venues in Los Angeles commissioned work from her. Now Prism, a Beth Morrison production, has won the Pulitzer prize for music. We wandered her soundscape in Omaha created for her by Opera Omaha at the Josyln Art Museum. There is a composer Ellen Reid and a sound artist Ellen Reid. Both can be wonderfully present in her work. She writes notes as a composer would, but her notion of a soundscape has to do with how a listener received the sounds. She is ...
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Apr 13, 2019
Opera Omaha gives restored version of 'Faust' a heavenly debut: Omaha World-Herald Review
Review: Opera Omaha gives restored version of 'Faust' a heavenly debut By Drew Neneman / World-Herald correspondent Apr 13, 2019 As old as the epic Greek poet Virgil is the observation that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” At the Orpheum Theater on Friday night, Opera Omaha turned this ancient bit of wisdom into an incredible double-entendre. With Steven White conducting the Omaha Symphony, an Opera Omaha production of Charles Gounod’s “Faust” played with the value of intention from a composer’s point of view, a hero’s point of view, a villain’s point of view and a patron’s point of view in an exhilarating production. This was the world prem...
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Apr 11, 2019
Award Winning Theater Director Debuts with Opera Omaha this Weekend
Award Winning Theater Director Debuts with Opera Omaha this Weekend by Sarah Hookey Apr. 11, 2019 There's only one transformative, artist-packed weekend left of Opera Omaha's ONE Festival, to include the Opera Omaha debut of acclaimed theatre director Lileana Blain-Cruz as she directs the world stage premiere of a new performance edition of Gounod's Faust. A recent recipient of a 2018 United States Artists Award, grantee of a Knight Foundation award and past recipient of an Obie Award, Blain-Cruz is breathing vibrant energy into this updated production of Faust, a fascinating rendition that reimagines the classic, hedonistic tale. Additionally, Conductor Steven White (Così fan tutte, 2017) returns to Opera Omaha to lead the Omaha S...
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