Friday, February 13, 2009

Welcome to the High Desert Opera Blog!

Welcome to the new High Desert Opera Blog!

New Year's Eve Gala

We've got a wonderful season in store for you, and as we firm up our plans, we'll keep you posted! Don't miss our upcoming summer program, to be announced shortly.

Opera 101 events are coming soon and an Opera Wine Train is in the works!

To get you started, here are some upcoming events:

Dinner and an Opera
The next Dinner & an Opera event featuring Mozart's comic opera, The Marriage of Figaro, will be held Friday evening, February 27, beginning at 5:30 pm the the UTEC Culinary School 2508 Blichmann Ave. We will dine on:

Lemon Herb Roast Chicken au jus served with
Chefs seasonal vegetables
Bread and beverage

Desert is Pear-Cranberry Tart served at intermission during the viewing.

After the main meal, we will move to the adjacent projection room for a brief Informance on the opera followed by a DVD projection of the opera. This performance features Rene Fleming early in her career and Gerald Finley as Figaro performing at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in England. It is opera buffa that entertains as well as illuminates our foibles. In addition, this opera is speckled with beautiful melodies and profound insights.

Dinner and the viewing is $30 per person. Viewing and dessert only is $10 per person.

Come join us for a wonderful evening of food, conversation, and opera.

Reservations are required. Call Melinda Wilson at 970.242.3703 or email with the number in your party and if you are dinner or viewing only. We must have a minimum of 40 reservations for dinner by Feb 19. Our maximum for dinner is 50 people. Please make you reservaions early.

Report on Metropolitan Opera Live Simulcast
Last Feb 7, 11:00 AM at least 8 people from Grand Junction traveled to Denver to view the Metropolitan Opera's live telecast of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. It was spectacular. Rolando Villazon was sick resulting in Piotr Beczala substituting at the last minute. He was spectacular. We will likely hear more of his singing. Anna Netrebko was returning to the Met after giving birth to her first child last fall. Her singing was technically impeccable & emotionally overwhelming. The simulcast is produced as if they are making a movie in realtime (no retakes). When the score of an overture features the harp, you see a full screen view of the harpist. When a soloist is making a partiularly emotional statement you see a full screen shot of the face of the soloist. IDuring the two lengthy intermissions an interviewer converses with the soloists, conductor, technical staging people and you see the backstage bustle required by the set changes. In addition to these features, the sense of being at the Met was so strong that opera buffs applauded individual arias, duets, and the famous sextet as if they were in the Met audience.
If you like opera, make sure you attend at least one performance at the Met in your life. In the meantime, don't miss these simulcasts, they are spectacular.
You can view a replay of this broadcast on Feb 18, 7 pm or Mar 11, at 1 pm. Go to for theater locations in Denver. I am petitioning Regal Entertainment to screen this program here in Grand Junciton. I will put information on this page if I am successful.

Opera Seminars
High Desert Opera produces 3 different seminars. Two are directed at music lovers that are new to opera (101 & 102) and the third is designed for those seeking a greater understanding of a specific opera (401). If you would like to request one of these seminars be presented at your service club or other organization contact Ed Arnos at 245-4914 or email

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