opera

Tom Summers

There's an Opera Company you may not know about, playing in places that seem highly unlikely: the Hill Country. But if you think opera’s new there—nope.

“Oh no—not at all. In places like Sisterdale, Fredericksburg, Comfort, Texas, all around the Hill Country, they brought with them culture from Europe.”

Arden Dorn is the President of Hill Country Opera and he’s talking about the mid 1800s. “They would have opera singers entertain every week. They originally had seven resident opera singers in the Sisterdale area.”

A few months ago, inside her stall in a Mexico City market, Ofelia Contreras showed Monika Essen the intricate handwork on an indigenous Mexican skirt. She pointed out how many months it took to complete the patterns by hand.

Essen is the costume designer for the Michigan Opera Theatre's revival of the opera Frida, and came to Mexico City to get the look of the opera right, since Kahlo was so particular about her traditional wardrobe.

Diana M. Lott

 

Soprano Ava Pine has won accolades around the world for her operatic performances, but she still calls Texas home. She grew up on 50 acres of land in Fredericksburg, where she says she enjoyed singing country music with her father.

Pine’s first exposure to classical music came through singing in a choir; her love of the theatrical experience was sparked by musicals at the Majestic Theatre, and watching people who felt “so strongly about things that they just had to sing!”

The life of Frida Kahlo seems tailor-made for an opera: pain, love, art, travel and revolution. So the Michigan Opera Theater's decision to mount a production of the opera Frida, opening Mar. 7 in Detroit — where the iconic painter lived with her husband, Diego Rivera, for nearly a year, and where she survived a miscarriage that marked a turning point in her art — isn't so surprising.

Kristian Jaime Photography

San Antonio’s Opera Piccola is mounting its next production, and the three year-old company goes way back in time for this one. I spoke to Opera Piccola’s Music Director Kristin Roach.

“It’s a wonderful, charming story about, a love story but also the intervention of the Gods.”

Those Gods are the Greek ones and the opera is Dido and Aeneas, based on Virgil’s Aeneid.

Pages