Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sun Valley Opera celebrates 10 years

Anniversary show is ‘A Midsummer Night’s Serenade’

Express Staff Writer

Opera star Terri Richter brings beauty and talent to the Sun Valley Opera’s performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Serenade.” Courtesy photo

Due to a passion for the arts demonstrated by one small entity known as Sun Valley Opera, the past decade of opera and musical arts performances in Sun Valley have made the area a desirable destination for classically trained and internationally known singers.

"We don't have an office or staff but just one part-time executive director," said Sun Valley Opera's board president, Frank Meyer. "All of our income goes right to the show."

Sun Valley Opera's 10th anniversary show, "A Midsummer Night's Serenade," will be a pinnacle performance at the Sun Valley Pavilion on Sunday, July 10, at 8 p.m. General admission tickets are $25, $50 and $75. In addition, a fundraising Diva Party will take place at a private home on Saturday, July 9, from 6-8 p.m. Tickets for the Diva Party start at $125. Tickets can be purchased online at

"We started out as a trial to see if the community would want it," Meyer said. "In the past 10 years, the community has given a lot of support for our cross-over concerts. Sun Valley Opera grew because of the community. We were able to bring artists from all over the nation."

Sun Valley Opera has brought an array of artists to sing at its twice-yearly performances, including recognizable talents such as Alfie Boe.

"The artists want to come to Sun Valley," Meyer said. "They have been very cooperative about their fees, which has really helped us."

This year, Sun Valley Opera worked in collaboration with Metro Theatres in Los Angeles and brought "The Met: HD Live" and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in HD to screen at the Big Wood 4 Cinemas in Hailey. The collaboration brought full-scale opera and symphony to Sun Valley Opera patrons in the Wood River Valley throughout the year. The series was such a success that the opera bestowed the honor of Ambassador of the Year to David Corwin, president of Metro Theatres, who will be acknowledged at the pavilion Sunday.

The "Midsummer Night's Serenade" concert will include a vibrant show with five performers under the musical direction of Brett Strader. Baritone David Lara, tenor Cody Austin, baritone Nathaniel Hackman and actor and vocalist Glenn Stanton will be joined by Terri Richter to perform a variety of arias and contemporary pieces with the accompaniment of a 25-piece orchestra.

"We decided the first half of the show will be classical works and the second half will be popular music," Meyer said. "It's a full show, and it's packed with lots of songs."

Meyer said the four men have not performed together and did not know each other before making the decision to perform in Sun Valley, but each share a common past as ex-football players.

"They all love sports and it's a coincidence they all changed their passion," he said. "They all became classical music singers."

Concertgoers will hear famous opera arias from "La Traviata," "La Boheme" and several other recognizable opera pieces. In addition, Strader has created arrangements for crossover performance songs to include Billy Joel's "She's Always a Woman to Me," and Coldplay's "Viva La Vida."

"The idea was to have songs in combination in the style of the show 'Glee,'" he said. "The closing song will be everyone singing together the famous 'Troubadour's Song' from the opera 'Carmen.'"

The evening will include several more singing ensemble performances, arranged in celebration for the Sun Valley Opera's 10th anniversary. Gates at the pavilion open at 7 p.m.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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