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Utah Opera Resident Artists to Perform in Southeastern Utah

November 2, 2016 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Students in Grand and San Juan counties can enjoy live professional opera in their own schools when Utah Opera Resident Artists perform for them throughout the week of November 7-11, 2016.

During their tour, Utah Opera Resident Artists will offer age-appropriate performances of the lively and colorful “Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?” for elementary schools and “Freeze Frame: The Elixir of Love” for secondary school students.


Based on the format of popular game shows, “Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?” allows the visiting artists to teach the fundamentals of opera to younger students. The artists act as contestants who demonstrate their answers with vocal selections while the children serve as the studio audience. Students actively participate when they join the contestants in clapping rhythms, singing melodies and identifying emotions in the music.

In this secondary school program “Freeze Frame: The Elixir of Love,” the Resident Artists perform a short, English-language version of a comic Italian opera. The Resident Artists occasionally freeze the action to explain the elements of drama and opera occurring during the production.

In-school performances for students are offered free-of-charge to Utah schools thanks to partial funding through the Utah State Legislature’s Professional Outreach Programs in the Schools (POPS) program.

On Thursday, November 10, at 7 PM at Star Hall in Moab, the Utah Opera Resident Artists will perform an hour-long updated Western version of Donizetti’s famous The Elixir of Love. Sung in English, the opera presents sassy cowgirl Adina, who can’t seem to get shy ranch hand Nemorino to declare his love for her. When a rival appears on the scene, Nemorino uses a magic love potion to give him courage. Ticket prices are $5 for individuals or $10 for families (up to 6 people) and are available at the door.                                                                                                                          

Full Schedule of Events

Monday, November 7 – 9:15 AM – Grand County Middle School @ Grand County High School

11:30 AM – Grand County High School

“Freeze Frame: The Elixir of Love”

Tuesday, November 8 – 9:00 AM  – Ts4bii’nidzisgai Elementary

“Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?”

Tuesday, November 8 – 2:00 PM  – Navajo Mountain High School

“Freeze Frame: The Elixir of Love”

Wednesday, November 9–10:00 AM– Bluff Elementary School
“Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?”

Wednesday, November 9 –2:00 PM– La Sal Elementary
“Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?”

Thursday, November 10 – 2:00 PM –Moab Charter School

“Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?”

Thursday, November 10 –7:00 PM –Star Hall

“The Elixir of Love” Opera Performance for the entire public

Friday, November 11 – 12:45 PM – Carbon High School

“Opera Up Close”

The Utah Opera Resident Artist Program

Utah Opera’s Resident Artist program employs five Resident Artists who are selected through national auditions to spend nine intensive months with Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. During this time, they participate in vocal and dramatic coaching sessions; in workshops on important aspects of operatic performance, such as stage deportment, movement and language study; and in master classes with acknowledged opera professionals. While they are with the company they also perform in Utah Opera’s main stage productions in the Capitol Theatre, Utah Symphony concerts, and in-school presentations and community concerts throughout the state. The program’s objective is to prepare young singers for the rigorous and competitive world of professional opera, and, through their performances, to introduce Utah’s students to the lively and exciting world of opera.

 2015-16 Utah Opera Resident Artist Biographies

Abigail Rethwisch joins Utah Opera after spending the summer as an Apprentice Artist with Chautauqua Opera, where she sang Annina and covered Violetta in La Traviata and performed as a guest artist with the Chautauqua Symphony. She has gained significant recognition in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, having been chosen as a regional finalist three times, most recently in the Great Lakes Region, where she won Second Place. Ms. Rethwisch’s young artist training includes a residency with Tri-Cities Opera, three summers as an apprentice with Des Moines Metro Opera, and a Fellowship at the CoOPERAtive Program. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Simpson College and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Florida State University.

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Coit is a native of Spring Hill, FL. Her repertoire includes such roles as Nancy in Albert Herring, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Shepherd/Cat/Squirrel in L’enfant et let sortilèges, Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking, the title role in Giulio Cesare, and the Waitress in the World Premiere of Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight. She spent the summer of 2015 as a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis where she covered Richard in the American Premiere of Handel’s Richard the Lionheart. This past summer, she was an Apprentice Singer at the Santa Fe Opera where she covered Erika in Barber’s Vanessa and was 2nd cover of Zerlina in Don Giovanni. Sarah holds degrees in Music Studies and Theatre Performance from the University of South Florida and a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Tenor Christian Sanders has a “…voice whose color belies his age. Someone to watch!” ( Mr. Sanders’ operatic repertoire encompasses the roles of Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, the title role in Britten’s Albert Herring, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Laurie in Adamo’s Little Women, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Prince Charmant in Cendrillon by Massenet. He appeared as the Prison Chaplain in the World Premiere of Theodore Morrison’s Oscar with the Santa Fe Opera alongside world-renowned countertenor David Daniels, and last year sang the Messenger in Verdi’s Aida, and Don Curzio in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro as a Resident Artist with Utah Opera. Mr. Sanders also sang the title role in The Picture of Dorian Gray at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Mr. Sanders holds a Master of Music degree from Rice University and a Bachelor of Arts Magna Cum Laude in Music with a minor in Cell and Molecular Biology from Point Loma Nazarene University.

Baritone Markel Reed is a passionate interpreter of the operatic repertoire who has established himself as a wonderful conveyer of the works of Mozart, as well as those of French and Bel Canto composers. Notable roles include Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Schaunard in La Bohème, and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. He has performed with Kentucky Opera, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, Bronx Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Mr. Reed is an alumnus of University of Kentucky Opera Theatre.

Pianist Timothy Accurso is returning this year as a resident artist with Utah Opera. This summer he worked as a young artist with Opera Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, NY, performing in concerts, coaching young artists, and serving as a rehearsal pianist for their summer season. Tim earned his master’s degree in vocal coaching and accompanying at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with Dr. Julie Jordan Gunn. During his master’s program, Tim also served on the coaching staff for the Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, acting as a vocal coach and rehearsal pianist. In previous summers, Tim worked on faculty with the Performing Arts Institute, a high school music festival in Kingston, Pennsylvania, near his home in Glen Lyon, Pennsylvania. He has also worked and performed abroad in other summer festivals including the Franco American Vocal Academy, the CCM-Spoleto summer program, and also had the opportunity to participate in a short chamber music residency in Japan through Susquehanna University, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in vocal and piano performance.

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