Tabernash / Live Music: CU opera program offers some of the best in musical theatre |

Tabernash / Live Music: CU opera program offers some of the best in musical theatre

by Cyndi McCoy
Tabernash, Colorado

The Fraser Valley is invited to enjoy a rare chance to experience opera in the rural Rocky Mountains.

The Grand County Concert Series continues its fifth season tonight with the Colorado (University) Light Opera. Complete in formal attire for the festivities, the touring company will give a 90-minute highlight of several famous shows including the two its bill lists for the summer.

The program sprouted from the Summer Music Festival opera program. Professor Dennis Jackson renamed it in 2006 to give it a more accurate reflection of what the CU Opera had to offer. Ticket numbers from last season showed that more than 4,000 people attended Colorado Light Opera performances. Shows have included classics by such notable playwrights as Gilbert and Sullivan, as well as more contemporary light operas and musical theater.

For its 2009 season, the company presents 16 performances of two all-time favorites: “Oklahoma!” by Rodgers and Hammerstein and “Anything Goes” by Cole Porter. Auditions consist of students of voice and professional singers, as well as members of the community.

The group coming up to the Fraser Valley Saturday features almost a dozen talented vocalists and guest piano player Claire Mallory, student in collaborative piano. Performers are Joel Beachey (tenor), Brian Stone and Mario Diaz-Moresco (baritones), Katherine Montgomery and Laura Williams (mezzo-sopranos), and Margaret Higginson, Jennifer Braun and Christie Hageman (sopranos).

They’ll be performing sections from both “Oklahoma!” and “Anything Goes,” along with other popular Broadway pieces. The program will also touch on “Guys and Dolls,” “Les Miserables” and the company’s fall productions of “La Boheme” and “Candide.”

Guest artist, tenor Joel Burcham, will also be in attendance, putting forth his singing voice for highlights from Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Triviata.” The CU College of Music faculty member is widely known for his “clarion tone and operatic power.”

The CLO program is a branch from CU Concerts, which is part of the University of Colorado at Boulder College of Music. Along with the Artist Series, CU Opera (including CLO), the Takacs Quartet Chamber and Encore Series, and the Holiday Festival, talents present more than 50 ticketed events every year. Members also participate in educational and outreach events as ambassadors to the CU College of Music.

The Grand County Concert Series hosts complimentary dessert receptions with the artists after concerts. Proceeds help bring in top artists, as well as students to those concerts and performers into the local schools. Upcoming performances include the Veronika String Quartet March 27, Bergmann Piano Duo April 10, and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Quintet May 15.

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