Feb 6, 2018
Get to Know Olafur Sigurdarson
The Icelandic baritone Olafur Sigurdarson makes his Opera Omaha, and United States, debut in our upcoming production of Falstaff. Read the interview below to get a better sense of what brings Mr. Sigurdarson back to the role of Sir John Falstaff time and again, what he's looking forward to in this production, and what he's enjoying the most about his time in Omaha! Since you have performed the role of Sir John Falstaff in several different productions, how has your interpretation of this role changed throughout your experiences? Is there an essence to the character of Falstaff that you’ve tried to incorporate every time you perform this opera? There is...
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Aug 17, 2017
Meet the Artists of Opera Outdoors
Jessica Johnson Brock Mezzo-soprano Jessica Johnson Brock makes her Opera Omaha debut with Opera Outdoors. Ms. Brock is also an Opera Omaha Holland Community Opera Fellow. Recent engagements include the Aspen Music Festival, performing the roles of Nettie and Aunt Bea in Bolcom’s A Wedding and covering Ursule in Béatrice et Bénédict. Corey Crider Baritone Corey Crider returns to Opera Omaha having last appeared in The Tragedy of Carmen in 2008. Recent engagements include Marcello in La bohème with the Munich Philharmonic and Arizona Opera, Sharpless in Madame Butterfly with Dayton Opera, Escamillo in Carmen with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Ford in Falstaff with Opera on the...
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Apr 27, 2017
Meet Jonathan Dove
Jonathan Dove, Flight Composer Born to two architects in the city of London on July 18, 1959, Jonathan Dove is a modern English composer of opera, as well as choral works, plays, films, and orchestral music. While his first experiences in music came from piano, organ, and viola performance, Dove’s official musical education in composition was pursued at the University of Cambridge under the tutelage of Robin Holloway. Following his time at the university, Dove worked as a freelance arranger of music and accompanist. These first professional experiences graced Dove with a great understanding of the vocal instrument and acoustic properties of the traditional opera house. These lessons have stayed with Do...
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Apr 12, 2017
Jonathan Dove's Flight
As far as most operas go, Flight is exceedingly young. Only eighteen years old, Dove’s first opera is considerably younger than most members of the audience—this is not the case for, say, a Mozart classic. Commissioned by the Glyndebourne Opera, Flight premiered to the world on September 24, 1998 with the company’s touring opera. Its professional (non-touring) premiere was held the following year on the mainstage of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. On June 8, 2003 Flight made its first appearance in the U.S. with a new production at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and has since been staged in numerous American cities, including Boston, Pittsburgh, and Austin. This April 21 & 2...
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Feb 10, 2017
All About Così Fan Tutte
In Short: According to Don Alfonso, “All women are like that”—that is, flighty, superficial, and incapable of fidelity. Inspired by his statement, two young men set out to test the loyalty of their lovers with some unforeseen results. Nicknamed “The School for Lovers” by its composer and librettist, Così fan tutte will keep audiences reflecting, second-guessing, and laughing the whole night through. Opening Night: Many great operas began as great disasters. The ever popular Madama Butterfly was poorly received at its premiere, and the inaugural performance of the comic classic The Barber of Seville was a disastrous failure. This was not the case with Così fan tutte. The Mozart classic rece...
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Feb 2, 2017
Meet Lorenzo Da Ponte
Priest Born in the Jewish ghetto of Venice in 1749, a young Lorenzo Da Ponte was baptized Roman Catholic in 1763, setting him on a path towards eventual priesthood. Indeed, he studied at the Ceneda Seminary with his brother before moving to the seminary at Portogruaro in 1769. It was here that the young Italian took his Minor Order in 1770 and acquired additional qualifications as a Professor of Literature. His ordination as a priest occurred in 1773, whereupon Da Ponte moved to Venice to act as a priest of the church of San Luca. As priesthood was not exactly a lucrative means of income at the time, Da Ponte made most of his living ...
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Jan 30, 2017
Così Fan Tutte: Director's Notes
The entire team behind Opera Omaha’s Così fan tutte would like to welcome you to experience Mozart’s timeless opera in a production that brings all of the passion and pathos of these classic characters to life in the present day. Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte’s final collaboration (after their successes on Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni) was the only one of their works to have an original story. The opera is about two young couples whose love is tested after the men place a bet that their fiancées will remain faithful. First performed in 1790, only about one year before Mozart’s death, the opera is r...
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Jan 27, 2017
Così Fan Tutte: Conductor's Notes
New Year’s Eve in Vienna! Those very words evoke images and feelings of urbane pleasure and benign hedonism soaked in the soothingly cheerful tonic of beautiful music. And that is exactly what guests of Wolfgang and Constanze Mozart experienced on December 31, 1789. On that festive night a small but august group of friends sequestered themselves in the home of their beloved genius to witness the unveiling of his newest opera, Così fan tutte. Among the invitees that evening was Franz Joseph Haydn, someone whom Mozart greatly respected and one of the few colleagues whose opinion truly mattered to him. Mozart had endured a difficult two years. Public interest in his com...
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Jan 25, 2017
Did You Know...Così Fan Tutte Edition
Apparently Mozart had an extreme dislike for the soprano Adriana Ferrarese del Bene, for whom the role of Fiordiligi was first created. She had a strange tendency to drop her chin and throw back her head while singing low and high notes respectively, and knowing this, Mozart chose to fill her showpiece aria (“Come scoglio”) with constant harmonic leaps. Presumably he took great pleasure in watching her bob her head “like a chicken”. While one typically sees the title Così fan tutte attributed to this opera, and translated as “Women are like that”, the full title is actually Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti or “Thus do they all, or The Scho...
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Nov 21, 2016
Get to Know the Staff: Shannon Walenta
Shannon Walenta Managing Director Length of time you have worked with Opera Omaha: 3 months (formerly 10 years 1995-2005) Six-word summary of your job/duties/what you do: Oversee development, marketing, and engagement departments Describe the best or most rewarding part of your job: Opera is an art form about which I feel very passionate, and it is really fulfilling for me to help new folks, especially young people, get hooked on opera! What is something you do in your position that people might not expect: I write a lot! Your all-time favorite opera or theatrical production: Probably La Traviata. I fell in love with the tragic heroine after reading La dame ...
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