Opera Piccola Bringing Two New Productions On Mother's Day Weekend

Apr 24, 2014

On May 10 and 11, Opera Piccola are bringing two operas to the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre stage.

“Anytime we get to perform or present two pieces of new opera in a place for the first time, it’s exciting," said Opera Piccola Artistic Director Mark Richter. 

“There are two one-act operas; two very different kinds of experiences," he said. "One, of course, is derived from the ancient tale of Orpheus and how he follows his love Eurydice into the underworld after she dies.”

You may have heard of Orpheus and Eurydice.

“The really cool part about this is that she’s a great soprano," said Richter. "But her lover is not another singer. It’s a clarinet player... Todd Palmer, one of the great clarinetists in the country. It’s a minimalist, small, powerful piece of opera.”

The second opera is the oddly-named "Green Sneakers," which Richter describes this way.

“A very potent piece of opera by Ricky Ian Gordon which is about the last four months of his partner’s life before he died of AIDS," Richter said. "You would think it’s a very tragic thing, which of course it is, but it’s a very uplifting and powerful story about relationships and letting go. It’s certainly not going to be a downer.”

Jesse Blumberg plays the main character in "Green Sneakers" and Richter describes his talent.

"He’s one of the top baritones," Richter said. "They call them 'Bari-hunks' also ‘cause he made that list of good-looking baritones.”

Richter said there’s a whole website full of Bari-hunks.