Thursday, July 19, 2012

Opera 101 - Part II

I wanted to continue sharing the path I have been on since joining Opera Colorado's team last year, and definitely didn't want to write a 20-page blog. So here you have Part II!

Here is a list of things to consider when wanting to learn a little more about opera:

1. Catch at least three performances of different types of operas before you decide that you "don't like opera"! Try to go to different companies performing opera. We just saw "Cosi Fan Tutte" at Opera Theater of St. Louis and loved it. The experience was completely different than the ones I have had at Opera Colorado and I am so glad we went!

2. Check out a book about opera. Your local library has many options.

3. Use opera as the perfect date night. You don't have to love opera to make it part of a perfect evening with your beloved, or your best friend! Dinner reservations, perhaps a night in a nice hotel, join other opera goers for an after party, etc. A full evening that includes a live opera performance adds a lot to any relationship!

4. Know your opera. Before you go to a performance do a Google search for the opera you're about to see. Most opera companies (like us!) also do some type of pre-opera lecture and those are great to learn all sorts of wonderful hings about the opera. I have found that the more I know about the opera before the curtain goes up the more I enjoy the opera!

I hope these help! More to come!

Dan Hanley, Director of Development at Opera Colorado

Thursday, July 12, 2012

30th Anniversary Spotlight: Meet Daniel Belcher

Opera Colorado audiences may never recover from baritone Daniel Belcher’s hilarious turn as Dandini in 2011’s Cinderella, and Gala attendees last season were further treated to his charms. He went on to delight Colorado audiences in last summer’s Central City Opera offerings of Gianni Schicchi and The Breasts of Tiresias. A winner of the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for his participation in Katia Saariaho’s L'Amour de Loin, Mr. Belcher is known for his vocal precision and pyrotechnics, along with his unequalled comic antics. We look forward to welcoming back Mr. Belcher to celebrate Opera Colorado’s 30th Anniversary in the role of Mercutio in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the 30th anniversary season of Opera Colorado. In many ways, Colorado has been a musical home to me. From training three seasons with Central City Opera (with my then fellow Apprentice Greg Carpenter…) to singing four leading roles there, twice singing Gilbert and Sullivan with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, performing with Colorado Music Festival at Chautauqua and of course, performing with Opera Colorado, this State has been very good to me.

It is particularly thrilling to be back in Colorado in the 2013 season, as I made my debut in Colorado 20 years ago exactly. In a career that has taken me all over the world, there are few places I like to return more. I have developed wonderful, life-long friendships with patrons and administrators here that go well beyond the stage.

Hopefully, my wife and daughter will get to come out and maybe we can tack on a few days of skiing! We live in Kansas City, an easy day's drive from Denver and also New York. Needless to say this alone keeps us busy. My wife Kathleen is a stage director at the Metropolitan Opera and our 7-year old daughter keeps us running.

The longer and longer you are in this business, the smaller and smaller the world gets. I am thrilled to come back and collaborate with the cast of Romeo and Juliet and old friends and colleagues at OC. It should be a fun ride. I hope you will all be there! (I will be the one who dies in the swordfight!)”

By: Brad Trexell, Director of Artistic Operations

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are you smarter than a fifth grader?

The Opera on Tour Production of Carmen is back by popular demand! To prep students for the performance, we provide each teacher a guidebook. Below is an example of the types of activities we include. The question is… Are you smarter than a fifth grader? Take a stab (bad joke, sorry) to find out!

To download a larger version, click here.

By: Meghan Benedetto, Manager of Education and Community Programs

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Introduce a whole new world

I recently had the joy of seeing Cosi Fan Tutte at Opera Theater of St. Louis. Our seats were in the front row, a first for me. I was full of excitement the entire performance and so grateful that we had the opportunity to experience opera while on vacation.

Soon at Opera Colorado our box office will begin offering 2013 season tickets to those who are currently not subscribers. Current subscribers have a little more time to get their seats, and then the seating is opened up to new folks.

This is the time to take advantage of not only supporting live opera in Colorado but being able to experience live opera in Colorado. Better yet, it is the perfect time to make a gift of season tickets to a loved one or to someone you know would thoroughly enjoy three opera performances next year. For people who have never experienced opera, our 2013 Season is the perfect season. Classic operas with Romeo and Juliet and Don Giovanni and then our World Premiere of The Scarlet Letter to close out the season. French, Italian, and English language operas all in one season!

I am still knew to the wondrous world of live opera and the more opera I experience the more excited I get about what is to come. Live opera is an entirely different world, a world filled will love, passion, tragedy, and death. A world that makes us think about our lives and the life we wan to live. A world that catapults us into vocal perfection coupled with a stage presence that invigorates our desire for the performing arts.

So go ahead. Join us at Opera Colorado and introduce yourself or a family member or freind to live opera!

For more information click here!

Thank you for reading and thank you for your support of Opera Colorado!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Have you told someone about Opera Colorado lately?

Remember that time a friend told you about the fantastic new restaurant downtown that you now love? Or the parking garage with the best prices that you are now completely loyal to? Or the best dry cleaner in your neighborhood that now gets all of your business? Wonder where this is headed? It’s the power of word-of-mouth advertising.

You may not realize it, but you, our audience, are our strongest marketing tool.

Just think of all the times someone has told you about a new place or experience you just had to try. You went, you loved it, and you told five of your friends about it. They each go, love it, and tell five of their friends about it. You can see where I’m going with this…

The arts benefit greatly from this kind of viral word-of-mouth advertising. There are lots of preconceived ideas about opera out there and to someone not familiar with the experience, it can be enough to keep her from attending. But when that person hears from you about the gorgeous music, the stunningly talented singers (I mean…they don’t use microphones!), the beautiful sets and costumes, tickets that start at under $30, and the overall immersive and artful experience, her interest is piqued, she goes and has a good time, and a new opera lover emerges.

So, the next time you are talking with friends about all the wonderful experiences Denver has to offer, let them know how much you enjoy Opera Colorado’s performances and events. Share your love of opera with those around you…forward an email, recommend following us on Facebook or Twitter, give an Opera Colorado Gift Card to someone who isn’t familiar with opera, or organize a group for an elegant opera-filled night on the town. You have the power to introduce opera to a whole new audience in a way that regular advertising just can’t do.

We can’t do what we do without you!

By: Erin Acheson, Marketing and Promotions Coordinator