Wednesday | Apr 25, 2012

Spirits of the Opera

Check out the Opera Omaha Guild’s promotional video for the third annual Spirits of the Opera celebration. This award-nominated event happens Saturday, April 28 beginning at 5:30pm at The Max. Luscious cocktails and delectable appetizers will be available to sustain you through the magnificent show and the after-party. Don’t be late! Join us for all the fun!

Tickets are available by clicking Ticket Omaha or calling 402-345-0606 or 402-346-4398. You can also purchase tickets at the Opera Omaha office at 1850 Farnam Street. Our office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Stop in for a quick visit. We would love to meet you!

Monday | Apr 23, 2012

Could you be our newest Chorus member?

Do you have dreams of performing at The Orpheum Theatre? Do you have a great singing voice? I thought I heard you say, “Yes!”

We want to hear you at our upcoming auditions! Information about our May 12 auditions is below. Opera Omaha is looking for chorus members and boy sopranos to sing during our 2012-2013 season productions.

If you love to sing and perform for an audience, contact us for an audition time. Contact information and more details are below. Join us! We would love to hear you sing.

Photo by Jim Scholz–The Mikado Men’s Chorus and Terry Hodges as Pooh-Bah
Photo by Jim Scholz–The men and women of the Chorus look on in fear as The Mikado, Kevin Short, arrives
Opera Omaha
Announcement for Chorus Auditions
Opera Omaha is holding chorus auditions for La traviata
When: Saturday, May 12 from 1:00 – 5:00 PM
Where: Opera Omaha Rehearsal Hall, 1850 Farnam Street, Omaha NE (entrance on 19thStreet).
Details: You must be at least 18 years old to audition.  Prospective members will be assigned a time slot and asked to present 2 selections; one in a foreign language and one in English, not to exceed 5 minutes in total.  Arias, arts songs, or church solos are all acceptable as audition pieces.  Please provide printed music as an accompanist will be available at no cost.

Contact Cammy Watkins at or 402-346-4398 x 217 for details and to schedule an audition.  Additional information is also available at

Opera Omaha Boy Soloist Auditions

Opera Omaha will be holding auditions on Saturday, May 12, 2012 beginning at 2pm at the Opera Omaha Offices, 1850 Farnam St (entrance on 19th Street between Farnam and Douglas). These auditions are open to unchanged male voices (boy sopranos) only ages 8-12 years old; instrumental or vocal training is a plus. A musical resume or performance experience list must be received to be considered for an audition.

Audition requirements:

·         Boy Sopranos ages 8 -12
·         One musical selection (with sheet music for the accompanist) to be performed with piano accompaniment (accompanist will be provided).
·         Be available for same day call backs in which solo and group sight singing will be requested
·         Audition space is limited and scheduling is by invitation only

Only email applications will be accepted, do not call to schedule an audition. Please send resume, soloist name, parent/guardian name, phone number, and email to Cammy Watkins at, to request an audition.

Wednesday | Apr 11, 2012

Meet the Artist–Ko-Ko, Brian-Mark Conover

Ko-Ko is the Lord High Executioner of Titipu. He becomes the Lord High Executioner by appointment and is reluctant to carry out his duties. This isn’t really a problem until the execution-loving Mikado realizes that it’s been a long time since anyone in Titipu was executed and threatens to demote the town to a village (gasp!) unless an execution is performed rather quickly. This leaves Ko-Ko with a problem. He has to find someone to execute!

One of the most well-known parts of The Mikado is Ko-Ko’s “Little List” song. He gives us a list of the people he could execute and “who never would be missed”. The lyrics of the List are changed to reflect current trends in politics and pop culture. It is changed to suit a regional audience and often contains reference to locally and nationally known people or events.

The role of Ko-Ko requires an artist who can act, sing, and possesses a must see-it-to-believe-it level of  skill in the art of physical comedy. Opera Omaha is proud to have Brian-Mark Conover join us for The Mikado as our Ko-Ko. Mr. Conover’s wit, stage presence, and comedic flair combined with his enjoyment of the audience and a lovely baritone create a magnificent Ko-Ko!

Join us this weekend on Friday, April 13 or Sunday, April 15 for our production of The Mikado and see who Mr. Conover has on his List. Click Ticket Omaha or call 402-345-0606 or 402-346-4398 for tickets. Don’t miss it!

Biography provided by artist:

Mr. Conover has been performing for over 35 years. He is trained as a lyric baritone and holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre and music. He performed in several Opera Omaha productions including Don Giovanni  and Opera for the Cure. He was a featured artist in So In Love With Broadway. Mr. Conover performed the roles of Norn, Gunther, Alberich and Katsy Snapp in Opera Omaha’s 2009 production of Das Barbecu. Additional local theatre credits include playing Uncle Max in The Sound of Music and Don Joe in No Dogs Allowed at the Rose Theater. 
While living in Chicago, Mr. Conover played many character roles including; Marcus Lycus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Annie, The Madam in Pacific Overtures, George Bernard Shaw in The Frogs, Constable Simms in Oh, Boy!, Donald Trees in The Flowers, The Duke in The Paradise Hotel, and Mr. Smith in The Bald Soprano. His national credits include several productions of Forbidden Broadway in major cities throughout the United States.

Monday | Apr 09, 2012

Meet the Artist(s)–The Opera Omaha Chorus

Opera for the Cure Chorus and featured artists

Opera companies throughout the world rely on a core of dedicated individuals to provide talent and onstage support in many opera productions. These people play varied roles, rehearse for weeks before the principle artists arrive, and add immeasurable quality and interest to the staged work. Opera Omaha benefits greatly from the support of our magnificent Opera Omaha Chorus. We could not produce The Mikado, or most other programming, without these exceptionally talented and professional men and women.  

The chorus is comprised of people from Omaha and surrounding communities in Nebraska and Iowa. Opera Omaha holds chorus auditions two to three times each year. From these auditions, select individuals are contracted on a single-show basis. Different chorus members are used for different shows throughout the season. The selection process seeks to match vocal qualities and abilities with the music to be presented. Our next auditions are Saturday, May 12 at Iowa Western Community College.

The chorus of The Mikado includes 24 fantastic performers (listed below) from our local communities. When you come to see the show, please clap loudly for our outstanding chorus members. They dedicate many hours to bring you the high-quality entertainment that you see on the stage. Enjoy the show!

Do you need tickets? Click Ticket Omaha or call 402-345-0606 or 402-346-4398. 

Opera Omaha Chorus members for The Mikado:

Derek Anderson
Katie Branzuela
Tara Cowherd
Becca Jackson Cusick
John Dart
Elmer Ellefson
Allison Falt
T. Adam Goos
Angie Heim
Jared Hiscock
Katie Kirchner
James C. Little
Megan Kate McGuire
Eric Micks
Megan Milke
Eduardo Millán
William A. Miller
Susan Seamands
Brandon Shostak
Kevin Smith
Judi Torneten
Lauren Turner
Brad A. Watkins
Camellia Yvonne Watkins

This is Opera! Chorus and featured artists

Opera Omaha
Announcement for Chorus Auditions
Omaha, Neb. – Opera Omaha is holding chorus auditions on Saturday, May 12thfrom 1:00 – 5:00 PM in the Opera Omaha Rehearsal Hall, 1850 Farnam Street, Omaha NE (entrance on 19thStreet). The selected chorus members will be singing for our first production of next season.
You must be at least 18 years old to audition.  Prospective members will be assigned a time slot and asked to present 2 selections; one in a foreign language and one in English, not to exceed 5 minutes in total.  Arias, arts songs, or church solos are all acceptable as audition pieces.  Please provide printed music as an accompanist will be available at no cost.
Contact Cammy Watkins at or 402-346-4398 x 217 for details and to schedule an audition.  Additional information is also available at

Friday | Apr 06, 2012

Big Opera is Back! Announcing our 2012-2013 Season

Opera Omaha Announces 2012/2013 Season

Opera Omaha is pleased to announce their 2012/2013 season.  This will be the 55th year that Opera Omaha has brought world-class opera to the Omaha Metro area.  Premiere performances, collaboration, and classic grand opera will be the hallmarks of what will prove to be a very exciting year for the company and its audience members.  All three main-stage operas will be presented in the historic Orpheum Theater.  This season brings glorious music, poignant romance, chilling mystery, and stunning, magnificent visual art.
“I’m delighted to announce the details of Opera Omaha’s bold new season,” says General Director Roger Weitz.  “La Traviata is one of the most beloved operas of all time; our dynamic cast is in expert hands with director Jim de Blasis and conductor Joseph Rescigno.  Jun Kaneko’s stunning new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute must be seen to be believed; this opera will be a major event in the community.  The season finishes with Hal France returning to Opera Omaha to conduct Bartok’s powerful opera, Bluebeard’s Castle, with the legendary Samuel Ramey in the title role.  It’s a season not to be missed.”
Season Subscriptions will be on sale starting April 9; tickets to individual operas will go on sale after Labor Day.  Season Subscriptions can be purchased by phone: 402-346-4398.
Details about the season:
La Traviata
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
October 5 and 7, 2012
Verdi’s tragic tale of a beautiful Parisian courtesan named Violetta and her young lover from a respectable provincial family is the first production of the Opera Omaha 2012/2013 season.  Based on the Alexandre Dumas play “The Lady of the Camellias”, which also inspired the legendary Greta Garbo film “Camille”, this classic and touching tale of love and sacrifice written in 1853 has some of Verdi’s best-loved music.  This production will evoke the world of 18thcentury Paris and the demimonde lifestyle of its main character.
Director James de Blasis returns to Opera Omaha, furthering a long history with the company including Lucia di Lammermoor with Beverly Sills in 1975.  Conductor Joseph Rescigno is another returning artist, having led Jun Kaneko’s Madama Butterfly for the company in 2010.
Conductor:                  Joseph Rescigno
Director:                      James de Blasis
Role                             Cast
Violetta                       Inna Dukach
Alfredo                       Joshua Kohl
Germont                      Jake Gardner
Flora                            Leah Wool
Barone Douphol          Kirk Vaughn Robinson        
The Magic Flute
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
February 22 and 24, 2013
New Production
The exciting centerpiece offering of the new Opera Omaha season, The Magic Flute, will be designed by Omaha’s own visual artist Jun Kaneko whose talent in opera design is recognized from coast to coast; Opera Omaha is a co-producer with four other leading opera companies including San Francisco Opera and Washington National Opera in Washington, DC.  The Magic Flute is a lighthearted tale of love and adventure, charmingly fantastical, utterly unique, and perfect for the entire family.  Jun Kaneko’s newest creation promises to be a truly spectacular event for the Omaha Metro area.
Conductor:                  Nicholas Cleobury
Director:                      Garnett Bruce
Designer:                     Jun Kaneko
Role                             Cast
Papageno                     Corey McKern            
Pamina                         Monica Yunus
Sarastro                       Tom McNichols
Bluebeard’s Castle
Music by Bela Bartok
Libretto by Bela Balazs
April 19 and 21, 2013
New Production
The captivating story of Duke Bluebeard, his new wife, Judith, and a castle containing seven mysterious doors.  The secrets that lie behind them are revealed one by one through rich, haunting music.  Hal France returns to Opera Omaha to conduct this complex work featuring brilliant orchestral writing.  Mr. Samuel Ramey, one of the music world’s foremost interpreters of bass and bass-baritone operatic and concert repertoire will return to Omaha to perform the title role.
Opera Omaha will collaborate with several local arts organizations in bringing this story to life.  Their participation in the production will help reveal the mysteries of the seven doors and demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of opera. 
Conductor:                  Hal France
Director:                      Andrew Eggert
Role                             Cast
Bluebeard                    Samuel Ramey
Judith                          Kara Shay Thomson


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