News & Press

Apr 25, 2022
Opera Omaha’s Eugene Onegin is highly-charged
Tchaikovsky’s 1878 opera Eugene Onegin is based on Pushkin’s verse novel of the same name. Many of the composer’s works grew out of self-doubt and initially this opera was no exception. When it was suggested by a friend that he tackle it, he was hesitant, yet eventually thought better of it and began developing his own version of Pushkin’s novel, using plot points and verse from the original.
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Apr 24, 2022
Eugene Onegin at the Orpheum
“Eugene Onegin,” a 150-year-old Russian opera is a Tchaikovsky production for the ages. Currently being staged at the Metropolitan Opera and the end of Opera Omaha’s 2021-2022 season, it transcends the evocative nature of unrequited love. This production of “Onegin,” was set as a 1950’s memory play- a look back on the past and a reflection of what could have been, a reflection of decisions, regret, romance and ultimately ruin.
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Apr 23, 2022
Dear Eugene Onegin
How do you write a love letter to an opera about people who write love letters? Friday night at the Orpheum, Opera Omaha premiered the final installment of its 2021-22 season, Eugene Onegin, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The production was absolutely stunning. Director Rosetta Cucchi, created a triumphant and sensitive presentation of the story. Set in the 1950s instead of in its 19th century roots, epistolary action still propelled much of the thrilling internal journey of the characters. A fascinating foil was added to Tatyana’s character: Brenda Crawley portrayed the silent, older Tatyana, who recalled the tragic events from her youth which unfolded before us as the Onegin tale. Cr...
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Apr 18, 2022
“Every character is relatable in some way…” she said off the cuff, but that simple sentiment churned into the central thesis of my charming interview with Mezzo-soprano, Hilary Ginther, on Friday April 15. Ginther was more-than-kind to take a break from the daunting tech week leading up to Friday April 22nd and the Opera Omaha premiere of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s, Eugene Onegin. Three minutes into our conversation I was already a little bit intimidated as an artist.
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Apr 17, 2022
Don't dismiss Tchaikovsky opera because of current events, directors say
Given the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, freelance music director Steven White thinks some people might question the choice of Opera Omaha’s next production. The opera, “Eugene Onegin,” is by 19th century Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and is based on a poetic novel by beloved Russian author Alexander Pushkin. Many people, outraged by president Vladimir Putin’s war against his neighbor, are advocating for Americans to boycott all things Russian, including the arts.
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Feb 27, 2022
Sweeney Todd - The Reader
Opera Omaha brings you the grim tale of Sweeney Todd, the demon barber seeking his revenge on Fleet Street in the city of 19th century London. Written in 1973 by Stephen Sondheim with book by Hugh Wheeler, it was derived from the play by Christopher Bond and eerie Victorian legends. Sondheim gleaned inspiration from the Bond production and produced one of the most classic pieces of theatre — both in musical and opera form — to grace the stage. Much like a “Jack the Ripper,” urban legend of his time, Sweeney Todd is a murderous saga for the ages. It’s undoubtedly loosely based upon its operatic predecessor, “The Barber of Seville,” so how fitting fo...
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Feb 27, 2022
Young love, jealousy, revenge, and the worst pies in London set the stage for Opera Omaha's latest production, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Sweeney Todd first opened on Broadway in 1979 and features a score written by the incomparable Stephen Sondheim, with a book by Hugh Wheeler. Since first making a splash on Broadway it has spawned numerous revivals, won multiple awards including a Tony Award for Best Musical, and even had a bloody good time on the big screen in a movie musical adaptation starring Johnny Depp as the man behind the razor. At times referred to as Sondheim's opera, the score effortlessly bridges the gap between ...
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Feb 26, 2022
“You can’t imagine the rapture in store…” Tobias exclaimed, which character was magnificently sung by Michael Kuhn, at the beginning of Act II during Opera Omaha’s production of Sweeney Todd last night at the Orpheum Theatre. Firstly, I agree with Toby. The show was rapturous. Secondly, and frankly, Kuhn was part of a 4-way-tie with lighting designer, Pablo Santiago, the Omaha Symphony itself, and the Opera Omaha Chorus, in their apparent race to steal the show. Kuhn’s voice, authenticity, tangible emotion, and did I mention his voice!!!... as he portrayed Tobias Ragg, were a hearty jewel in the production’s crown. Every show should be so lucky as to have Kuh...
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Feb 25, 2022
Razors are swinging and sales are soaring at the Orpheum Theatre tonight for Opera Omaha’s new production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Stephen Sondheim. This production is designed and performed by a triumphant regiment of Opera Omaha debut artists and returning favorites. In particular Susan Clement, the Bluebarn Theatre’s Artistic Director since 2002, stage and concept directed this exciting new inception. It’s also her first time directing the work. Zachary James, the original “Lurch” in the Broadway production of The Addams Family, not to mention a Grammy nominee, is also making an exciting Opera Omaha debut as the title character.
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Feb 23, 2022
Former Opera Omaha conductor relishes return for 'Sweeney Todd'
For the past three years, noted musician and conductor Hal France has been at the University of Nebraska at Omaha teaching musical theater classes. He’s probably better known, however, for his 10 years as the executive director of Opera Omaha (from 1995 to 2005) and his extensive freelance career as a guest conductor with noted opera companies across the country. His last appearance with Opera Omaha was in 2018, as the conductor for Giuseppe Verdi’s “Falstaff.” Now he’s back behind the baton for the company as the conductor of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” premiering Friday at the Orpheum Theater. He’s thrilled to be working on such an...
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