Is there anything better than dressing up for an evening of dinner and culture? Whether it’s symphony, theater or opera, the stage has an inexplicable draw that seems to be growing stronger than ever. This coming season Utah Opera will not disappoint. Not only will they be reviving a popular favorite, but they have two new productions as well. They will be working with the Utah Symphony and are performing at both Abravanel Hall and the Capitol Theater.
The season will open with “Romeo and Juliet” last performed in 2005 at the Capitol Theater. If you haven’t seen this classic love story, can you call yourself a romantic? And if you have, you might want to take another look. Shakespeare’s play gets a bad rap for being two too young teenagers making rash decisions. Unfortunately, as we age, most of what teenagers do ceases to make sense, however, on the stage, live in illuminating song, this show really comes to life and you can see the deep complexities of love and discrimination, loyalty and righteousness that feature in this show.
Next, Utah Opera debuts “The Little Prince.” The popular French novel, which inspires this show, has been translated into over 300 languages and dialects. It was recently adapted into a play by Sackerson Theater here in Salt Lake City. This is an adult fable about a pilot who meets a prince who fell from an asteroid. It may sound a little strange, but the book discusses the complexity of human relationships while confronting adulthood. Directed by Tara Faircloth and adapted by Academy- and Emmy Award- winning composer Rachel Portman with librettist Nicholas Wright this show promises to be brilliant if not simply beautiful.
“The Magic Flute,” arguably one of the most famous operas in the world, is next in line to grace the stage. Utah Symphony Music Director Therry Fisher returns along with cast members from the opera’s former run six years ago. Following our prince theme, this opera is about a prince and his sidekick earning the love of a fair maiden, with a few twists. One of which is the maiden’s mother, the Queen of the Night, who sings the highest and most challenging aria in the soprano repertoire. Don’t miss this classic by none other than Mozart.
The season closes with “Norma.” Her story follows a classic love triangle structure except they are all Gallic druids fighting against the Romans. The tale begins when the rascal husband falls in love with the beautiful novice priestess; let’s just hope his wife, the high priestess, doesn’t find out. If you aren’t intrigued by that, perhaps the conductor might interest you, he is after all one of the top “25 most powerful names in U.S. Opera,” Stephen Lord, according to Opera News. If you don’t follow opera, costumes will be designed by Brandon McDonald, a finalist on Project Runway.
Utah Opera is more accessible than ever with new family nights. They have lowered the minimum age from 8 to 5, so you can take the kids, and will be starting a kids club Spring 2018, so you can then ditch the kids. Season passes are currently available for renewal and will be on sale in March.
If a full scale opera is too much of a commitment, Utah Opera will also be offering a variety of lighthearted but beautifully accompanied events. These include “Liberetti & Libations,” an opera inspired craft cocktail party, the “Red Carpet Event,” for the fabulously dressed and a pre opera lecture, for the curious and history buffs as well as additional events for kids according to grade level. It’s never too soon to fall in love with art, or too late.