Although our in-person production schedule is still on an extended intermission, rest assured Opera Las Vegas has not been idle. At last week’s annual all hands board meeting, a new set of officers was elected.

OLV welcomed Paxton Fleming as its new President, and renewed Bonita Bunt’s status as Secretary. Although I rotated off the voting board (as mandated by the bylaws), I will still attend meetings and serve as the Acting Treasurer. Past President Stephanie S. Buntin also rotated off the board with our deep appreciation for her dedicated service. Denny Weddle remains as an active member.

We had a comprehensive, measured discussion about possible “ways ahead” for maintaining the company presence and providing services. This is taking into consideration slowly emerging information about venue availability, health and safety best practices, and through informative weekly online consultations with nation-wide managers of professional company members in Opera America.

Currently, OLV is posting video clips on Social Media provided by our cast of leading singers for The Magic Flute “What Would Have Been.” This will be followed by selected short clips of past productions. We hope you will check them out. They will also find their way to the OLV YouTube channel, now in the works.

Beginning later in the summer, we hope to recreate some of our recent popular programs by streaming/recording socially distanced versions of Opera Legends in Black, Opera Uncorked, and Holiday on Broadway. We have approached sources to film The Bremen Town Musicians and Who’s Afraid of Opera? to share with schools and a wider family audience. These may be used to augment in-person presentations.

The dictates of the moment compel us to present projects with small (stellar!) casts and orchestras, featuring top notch national talent, side by side with the best performers in the Southwest and the Las Vegas Valley. To that end, and in keeping with our NEA Grant Award-winning Living Composers Initiative, the following schedule is in the works.

  • 19-21 February 2021: The West Coast premiere of Sidney Marquez Boquiren and Daniel Neer’s Independence Eve, a new one-act opera exploring the troubled journey of race relations in America. Comprised of three independent scenes, each taking place on July 3 rd of different decades in unspecified American cities, Independence Eve focuses on the stories of three different character pairings (a black male and a white male), struggling with identity and acceptance amidst issues that span on hundred years of the American experience. A moderated post-show talk back affords an opportunity for meaningful dialogue during Black History Month.
  • 18-21 March 2021: The West Coast premiere of Derrick Wang’s comic one act opera, Scalia/Ginsburg, postponed from this season buy now happily rescheduled for the planned site-specific production in UNLV Law School’s Moot Court. The acclaimed opera gets to the bottom of why Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia became unlikely friends. Spoiler Alert: They both loved opera!
  • 23-25 April 2021: Professional Company Premiere of Evan Mack and Joshua McGuire’s The Ghosts of Gatsby, winner of the prestigious annual National Opera Association competition. This fascinating, jazz age inspired one act opera looks at the rocky relationship of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, the latter character embodied by three singers who portray her at 18, 24, and 48 years of age. Let the operatic-sized soul searching begin!
  • 11-13 June 2021: Gaetano Donizetti and Giovanni Ruffini’s comic masterpiece, Don Pasquale. The young widow, Norina is beloved by Ernesto, who is about to be disinherited by his cranky and stingy uncle, Don Pasquale. Dr. Malatesta’s shrewd plotting sets things right, and teaches the old curmudgeonly Don a lesson, with mistaken identities, explosive tantrums, and comic confusion along the way.

The limitations of the moment are nonetheless providing some inventive group thinking that should result in some exciting programming in the months ahead. We would love to hear your thoughts about our plans and hopes. Please feel free to drop an email to us at Director@operalasvegas.com

I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, stay safe! “See You at the Opera!”

Jim Sohre

General Director