Opera in the Ozarks


Opera in the Ozarks kicks off summer 2019 season June 21

Changes of Heart

Opera in the Ozarks isn't your average summer camp. When students come to the camp, they become the stars of the show. You can check out their performances from Friday, June 21 to Friday, July 19, at Opera in the Ozarks' mountainside venue at Inspiration Point, just a short drive west of Eureka Springs.

"It's a very intensive process," said general director Nancy Preis. "We watch them grow, and audiences watch them turn into artists. Some of the students go from being a scared warbler to someone who's really an artist, and that's very satisfying."

The theme of the 2019 summer season is "Changes of Heart," featuring 22 fully staged and costumed opera productions including new Ice Cream Sunday matinees. The 69th season showcases a talented cast of 39 singers and professional musicians from across the country.

"We have a lot of special things coming up," Preis said.

Together, they'll perform the season's repertoire featuring "The Abduction from the Seraglio," Mozart's rollicking comedy flush with glorious ensemble writing that testifies to love's devotion and an Opera in the Ozarks premiere; "La Boheme," one of the world's most popular operas by Puccini that tells the tragic tale of lovers living as Bohemians in Paris; and the classic American opera, "Little Women," an adaptation by Mark Adamo based on Louisa May Alcott's story of the four March sisters whose struggling Massachusetts family includes a father off fighting in the Civil War.

The season's new special events include Ice Cream Sunday matinees at Inspiration Point, with main stage productions of "La Boheme" on June 30 and "Little Women" on July 7 with complimentary sweet treats provided by The Big Dipper ice cream shop in Eureka Springs; two Broadway cabaret shows, one performed on July 10 at the Fayetteville Town Center and the other on July 16 at Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs; two chamber music concerts, one on July 14 at Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista and the other the following night on July 15 at the Eureka Springs Auditorium; and the exclusive A Taste of Opera dining event on July 17, featuring delectable food, wine and vocal entertainment at Eureka Springs' historic 1886 Crescent Hotel.

The season's new special events include Ice Cream Sunday matinees at Inspiration Point of "La Boheme" on June 30 and "Little Women" on July 7.

"We are thrilled to present this season and especially excited to be performing one of our chamber music concerts at the Mildred Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista, with its fabulous acoustics," Preis said. "Our orchestra always sounds great as an ensemble, but in chamber music, you hear the individual instruments more clearly and can appreciate the artistry that players bring."

Last season, Preis said, Opera in the Ozarks started a new Broadway cabaret show at the Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs.

"It was a sold-out hit, so this season, we've expanded it and added a second venue at the Fayetteville Town Center," Preis said. "Our singers love to sing Broadway and popular songs. What could be better than indulging in your favorite beverage while talented young artists perform your favorite Broadway tunes in an intimate setting?"

Over the years, Opera in the Ozarks has earned a reputation as a prominent training ground for emerging opera professionals. Many alumni have gone on to sing on the world's major operatic stages. Each summer, loyal audiences look forward to a vivid repertoire of well-loved operas performed under the baton of artistic director Thomas Cockrell. While this season's three operas are unified by the theme "Changes of Heart," Cockrell said, each will be distinct in time and place.

"Adamo's moving score and masterful adaptation of Alcott's 'Little Women' will be set traditionally in Civil War-era Massachusetts," Cockrell said, "whereas director David Ward preserves the Parisian setting of Puccini's beloved 'La Boheme.' He brings the emotional drama forward in time from the mid-19th century to our own day."

Cockrell added, "For Mozart's opera, director Robert Swedberg keeps the late 18th century time period but absconds with the drama, lifting it from distant Turkey and setting down in the New World."

Single tickets to main stage productions are $25 and $30 for adults and $10 for children and students 18 and under with valid ID. Tickets may be purchased online at opera.org or by calling Opera in the Ozarks' box office at 479-253-8595.

View the complete schedule of performances and connect with opera.org to purchase tickets by selecting the button above.