CU Opera performs two free shows in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

CU Opera performs two free shows in Aspen

Staff report

The University of Colorado's Eklund Opera Theater Singers will give complimentary performances in Aspen next week on Thursday and Friday. This third annual visit from the troupe, presented by Aspen Rotary Club, along with the Snowmass and Carbondale Rotary Clubs, includes two free performances that are open to the public and suitable for all ages. The troupe's six graduate students perform songs from the greats of musical theater along with arias and ensembles from traditional opera favorites.

The feature show takes place Thursday 5 at 7 p.m. at Harris Concert Hall in Aspen. No tickets are necessary.

"It's such a treat to take in a show at Harris Hall," said Aspen Rotarian John Engels, who originally brought the event to Aspen. "Rotary is proud to offer this great night of family entertainment to the community. What I've seen from the past two performances is that everyone — from the youngest children to teenagers and adults — has fun."

Aspen Rotary invites attendees to a post-concert reception at the Limelight Hotel in Aspen at 8 p.m. For those who can't make the Thursday evening show, there's "Opera's Night Off: An Evening with American Songbook Greats" on Friday at 7 p.m. That show takes place as part of the Music in the West End series at Christ Episcopal Church in Aspen.

"We programmed pieces that represent the greatest opera classics," said music director Joshua Horsch. "We also wanted to highlight some of our current season at CU-Boulder."

Program selections include pieces by Puccini, Verdi and Mozart. The show includes opera scenes as well as choreographed musical theater numbers. To provide a deeper understanding and connection to the music, the singers will give the audience background information that includes a brief description of the opera and the scene they are singing.

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The Eklund Opera Theatre Singers have performed since 2009 as an outreach ensemble to bring opera music and musical theater to adult and youth audiences. Two members won second place in the nation at the National Opera Association scenes competition in New York City. In the past seven years, CU Opera has won both first and second place, twice each. They received third place nationally in the Opera Production Video competition for Dr. Leigh Holman's production of Rorem's, "Our Town," premiered by the Aspen Music Festival several years ago.