Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Opera for the masses

The Three Tenors perform for the valley

Express Staff Writer

The Three Tenors, Dennis McNeil, Jorge Yanez-Lopez and Jose Medina will perform at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood.

Through generous support for the Sun Valley Opera, The Three Tenors will perform their wide repertoire of music, ranging from popular Broadway songs to some of opera's most well known classic arias, for local audiences this weekend.

Having performed to crowds of people all over the world, The Three Tenors¾Jose Medina, Dennis McNeil, Jorge Yanez-Lopez¾will perform Saturday, June 30, and Sunday, July 1, at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum at 8 p.m. There are general admission tickets available for $35 and student's tickets for $10.

In addition, there will be a pre-performance Sun Valley Opera Diva Party on Friday, June 29. Patrons can attend the VIP reception and be entertained at a private home in Sun Valley with the Tenors around a piano for $100, which includes reserved seating at a performance. Later in the evening there will be a private dinner in a Sun Valley residence with the Tenors for $350. Space is limited for both events. For more details visit or call 726-0991.

"This is a departure from what we normally do," said Frank Meyer, co-president and co-founder of the Sun Valley Opera. "The board really listens to the donors and supporters for their feedback. It always wants high-caliber voices and from time to time likes to change the format."

For the past six years, the Sun Valley Opera has presented full-scale operas such as "Don Pasquale" and the very popular "Met to Broadway" performances. Last fall, The Sun Valley Opera brought the timeless classic "The Mikado" to Sun Valley, which was not only a success but different from its regular offerings.

"The Three Tenors play in Europe to large crowds and perform internationally to big audiences and corporate audiences," Meyer said. "People really like the power of the three tenors singing together and it's fun. There is a real buzz in the valley to see them."

The Tenors plan to perform popular arias such as "O Sole Mio," which the original Three Tenors¾Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti¾performed as well.

"The original Three Tenors were only known to people who went to the opera," Meyer said. "In 1990 they were asked to perform outside the opera on-stage together at the World Cup Finals in Rome. It was an overnight success and picked up across the world."

Meyer said Medina, McNeil and Yanez-Lopez have a great time performing and all three are top entertainers, which is what makes them so popular. The Sun Valley Opera will keep general admission prices lower than in a big city so everyone can experience the performances, which is part of the Sun Valley Opera's mission.

"It will be a real treat," Meyer said. "Instead of being in a huge 4,000-seat auditorium, we get to see them in an intimate setting in the church, which makes it really unique."

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