News & Press

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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Apr 7, 2019
Disturbing & Fascinating: Les Enfants Terribles Schmopera Review
Disturbing & Fascinating: Les Enfants Terribles in Omaha By Meghan Klinkenborg, Apr 7, 2019 Opera Omaha’s production of Les enfants terribles is a strange and mesmerizing exploration of dissociation and escapism. There are no certainties - only abstract visuals, raw emotions, and atmospheric music. Philip Glass’ opera, based on the novel by Jean Cocteau, triggers reactions that are powerful but hard to understand. The more I tried to wrap my brain around the piece the more confused I became. The music and the story refuse to be defined. All the audience can do is surrender to the transient emotions without over analyzing - a feat that is easier said than done. The ...
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Apr 6, 2019
Omaha World-Herald Review: Les Enfants Terribles
Review: Strange plot, great production values make 'Les Enfants Terribles' worthwhile By Betsie Freeman / World-Herald staff writer Apr 6, 2019 Updated Apr 6, 2019 The music is modern yet melodic, even in its urgency and its occasional dissonance. It’s mostly, but not always, accessible. The story is creepy yet fascinating — about a brother and sister who are way too close, the weird psychological game they play and the carnage it causes for all involved. Despite the fact that it made me work a little to keep track of the plot (did I say it was a little off-putting?) and absorb the unusual genre — a dance opera — I came perilously close to loving “Les Enfants Te...
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Apr 5, 2019
Words To Music: Young Poets And Composers Collaborate For Unique Opera, NET Article
Words To Music: Young Poets And Composers Collaborate For Unique Opera by Jack Williams- NET News April 5, 2019 A collaboration that combines young poets and opera will showcase a project that’s teaching fledgling writers how their words can be made into music. Opera Omaha’s Poetry and Music concert takes place on Sunday at Kaneko in Omaha. Soft-spoken and wearing a Metallica t-shirt, it may not seem like Zach Evans,12, belongs at Opera Omaha’s offices, where trained professionals rehearse a new piece in the next room. But in this case, he does. “I like a lot of music, from heavy metal to smooth jazz,” Evans said. He’s one of seven Neb...
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Apr 3, 2019
Les Enfants Terribles: Opera News Review
Les Enfants Terribles OMAHA Opera Omaha 4/3/19 ON APRIL 3, Opera Omaha offered a stunning evening of music, dance and theater with Philip Glass’s chamber opera Les Enfants Terribles, the first of the company’s two 2019 ONE Festival operas. A large open area of the Mastercraft Building at Millwork Commons, an old mattress factory now repurposed as an office space, was filled with risers for the audience and a large staging area, designed by Yuki Izumihara. The square stage was painted white, and the main playing area was surrounded by a trench filled with white plastic objects. The space was the perfect setting for James Darrah’s powerful, evocative and physically demand...
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Mar 20, 2019
Opera Omaha Welcomes Kurt Howard As New Producing Director
Opera Omaha is thrilled to announce the addition of Kurt Howard as its new Producing Director. Howard is an arts and culture professional specializing in leadership development, operational analysis, and new works creation and partnerships. Most recently, Kurt Howard served as Managing Director at OPERA America in New York for three years before shifting into the position of Director of Programs Services in 2017. Howard was responsible for professional development programs, annual conference planning and execution, supervision of grant programs (specifically OPERA America's Innovation grants), leadership in EDI and anti-harassment initiatives and the Co-Production Lending Bank. He also serves as adviser for the New York Opera Alliance. He was previously with ...
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