Tuesday | Jul 14, 2009

Das Barbecu

Hey You All!
You’re invited to attend Opera Omaha’s Das Barbecü on Friday, July 24. Part of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild About Omaha Weekend, this production and other events are free and open to the public. Performed on the Bow Truss outside The KANEKO [1111 Jones Street], the three performances begin at 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 pm.
Das Barbecü is based on the four epic operas written by Richard Wagner in the late 1800’s. These works, known as The Ring of the Nibelung, are considered by many to be the ultimate operatic saga and to experience the entire series you would need to devote over 17 hours of your time. Luckily, our story brilliantly sums it all up in a little over an hour.

You Put Country Western Music in My Opera – two great styles go together. Das Barbecü is a country western spoof of Wagner’s Ring Cycle showcasing the talent of six local actors playing more than 30 outrageous characters with music style ranging from Broadway to Texas swing and from jazz to country two-step.

BBQ, beer and dessert will be available for purchase with our Das Barbecü; complimentary bottled water will be provided. You won’t want to miss this irreverent, slightly risqué, old-fashioned musical that is fun for everyone.

Tuesday | Jun 23, 2009

Burgers & Bordeaux

The Opera Omaha Guild adds more sizzle to the summer cook out tradition.

Get ready for a day of family fun, delicious grilled creations and fabulous wines at the Guild’s Burgers & Bordeaux on Sunday, August 30, 2009. Five top area chefs compete in a gourmet burger throw down. Putting a new twist on a classic summer grilling tradition, samples of each of the gourmet creations will be served along with amazing wines. Special guest Karen Fahden will pour wines from Hans Fahden Vineyards. Wines selections also will come from Goosecross Cellars and other wineries. Celebrity judges will determine the “Best Grilled Burger in Omaha”. Family activities will be available to entertain kids of all ages.

Sunday, August 30, 2009 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: Sunset Valley Country Club 91st & Arbor Street
Adults: $35 Adv, $40 at door
Selected Wines: $5 (includes one souvenir wine glass)
Kids (12 & under): $5 – hot dogs & chips

For tickets or more information contact the Opera Omaha Box Office at or (402) 346-7372.

Wednesday | Jun 10, 2009

Opera for Kids Workshops

Opera Omaha enters the world of summer workshops! Opera for Kids is a fun and interactive week-long camp aimed at upper elementary and middle school aged children (those entering 3rd -8th grade). The Opera for Kids workshops will run August 3-7, 2009 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Morning sessions center on acting, dancing and singing, while afternoon sessions touch on the history, poetry and musical interpretation of children’s operas such as this season’s Brundibar. Parents and family are invited to attend the “Friday Finale” – a free noontime presentation of classic opera scenes performed by the students. For more information or to register contact Opera Omaha at or at 402-346-7372.

Tuesday | May 05, 2009

Spring Time | Time to Subscribe

Hello my Darlings, FL (aka the Fat Lady) here and loving spring time! Everything is blooming and I just received my Opera Omaha subscription information in the mail – So much OPERA, plus the bonus offerings! I hope to see you at Mozart 101. Follow my example and send back your subscription before 5/31 – I saved money and got my favorite seats.
I also want you to mark your calendar for the evening of July 24. Opera Omaha will present an open-air production of Das Barbecü, a country western spoof of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, outside of The KANEKO at 1111 Jones Street as part of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild About Omaha Weekend – June 24-25, 2009. Das Barbecü, based on the book and lyrics by Jim Luigs and music by Scott Warrender, showcases the talent of six local actors playing more than 30 outrageous characters at breakneck speed. The music style ranges from Broadway to Texas swing and from jazz to country two-step. Das Barbecü is an irreverent, slightly risqué, old-fashioned musical that is fun for everyone. It is going to be great fun, plus it FREE and open to the public.

Friday | Apr 17, 2009

Jim Sale – Lighting Desinger for La Boheme

I have often found that good design decisions can always be dissected after the fact, but seldom before. Development of the act 2 fly cues is a case in point.

Act 2 of John Conklin’s La Boheme is unique. He designed 7 flying scrims and doors and 2 sets of hanging lamps. These flying pieces work with a large rolling unit up stage right (Café Momus) and 2 free standing posters. The total effect is a collage of Toulouse-Latrec posters plastered on a wall that matches the joy and diversity of the bohemians.

The scene can be set in many different ways. I was fortunate to be able to watch a piano tech of act 2 without lights. Garnett Bruce, our director, turned to me right before the rehearsal started and asked me if I would think about the fly cues. He turned around and we started the rehearsal. The tech started with just about all of the pieces in view, at their low trim. My first jolt was that I was not looking at a night scene, as written by Puccini, but at the Bohemian’s world of art, joy, and laughter, mixed in with a little jealousy and heartache. My next thought was that the Bohemians bring this world with them.

My scheme started with the Café Momus. The 2 free standing posters and the Paris street scene on the scrim backdrop alone, made for a beautiful night scene. As I watched the rehearsal I started to make notes about which scrim should fly in and when. All of these cueing moments were based on action on stage such as Schaunard’s entrance, Colline and the coat, Mimì and the hat. We found later that these moments were also spot on musical. Dispel the night and bring on the light!

Au vista fly cues have to be handled with exact timing and a skillful fly crew. My hat is off to Pat, our head flyman. We provided the timing. My hat is off to us, too, for that matter. We were finally completed by the time the Bohemians entered the Café. We were no longer in a Paris night, but in a world of light – the Bohemians world.

Magic time in the theater. We set the cues in a lighting rehearsal and then ran them while listening to a CD I asked that each of the fly cues be slow. It was better than I ever imagined, smiles all around. At one point while setting these cues we heard somebody practicing on a piano in the lobby. They were working on act 2, about 10 measures behind us. This situation could have been very confusing, but I suddenly understood that the cueing, slower than the music, could not quite catch up to the musical world of the Bohemians. Nothing could catch up to them that night.

I, like the Bohemians, had a blast!



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