Friday, October 23, 2009

Another Opening, Another Show

Hello friends. Yes, I’ve been gone awhile. I won’t bore you with the reasons for my brief lack of blogging. All that matters is I’m back. Boy, do I have exciting things to tell you!

I’m sure you’ve heard, but Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci opens our season this weekend (tonight at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre)!

In Pagliacci (“Players” or “Clowns”), betrayal leads to bloody revenge in this story-within-a-story. Canio, playing the role of the clown, is a jealous husband who must bring laughter to his audience even after learning of his wife’s infidelity. Tragic consequences ensue as theatre and real life blur in this verismo shocker. The work features one of opera's most well-known and beloved arias, “Vesti la giubba.”

Sounds better than any reality TV show (and I should know, reality TV is one of guilty pleasures)!

While it’s sung in Italian, there will be English supertitles (so, it’s kind of like watching a foreign film). The opera is accompanied by the fabulous Columbus Symphony Orchestra. And, our friend Christopher Purdy gives a pre-curtain speech one hour before each performance.

Chances are you’ve even heard “Vesti la giubba” or heard culture references to Pagliacci. Here’s some highlight (feel free to use these to impress your friends):

- The music from the famous aria was featured in a 1969 Rice Krispies ad, with the lyrics, “No more Rice Krispies we are out of Rice Krispies. Entertainment Weekly named it as one of the 10 best commercials of all time.

- The 1954 song "Mr. Sandman" contains the line, "Give him a lonely heart like Pagliacci, and lots of wavy hair like Liberace."

- In the 1987 film The Untouchables, Al Capone is attending a performance of the opera, openly crying, when his henchman enters and tells him that he has killed Chicago Police Officer Jim Malone. Capone ceases his tears and laughs quietly.

- On an episode Seinfeld entitled "The Opera", Jerry and Elaine attend a performance of Pagliacci where their stalker disguises himself as Pagliaccio the clown to seek revenge on them.

- The Simpsons had an episode which consisted of the Simpson family going to Italy. The family ended up on stage for a Pagliacci performance with Sideshow Bob trying to kill the whole family as part of the act.

While all these cultural references are dandy, nothing can beat seeing the real thing! Luckily for you, great seats are still available. Prices start at $10 (but you have to buy those at least an hour before each show – preferably long before that)! To order your tickets give my buddies over at the CAPA Ticket Office a call at 614.469.0939 or visit And just because I love my loyal blog readers, feel free to use code SCORE to save 20% off single tickets.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Enjoy Opera for FREE

Ha! I bet I got your attention. That's right, I said it: Come enjoy opera for FREE. Doesn't get much better than free! I mean, come on, free fits in EVERY budget.

Here's our upcoming FREE performances:

Opera Over Lunch

Enjoy beautiful voices and wonderful music over lunch. Two Opera Columbus singers will perform some of Opera's greatest hits during lunch at Easton Town Center. This is a free performance.

Easton Town Square (at Easton Town Center)
160 Easton Town Center
Columbus, OH 43219
12 - 12:45 p.m.

Easton Town Square
Opera Over Lunch

Enjoy beautiful voices and wonderful music over lunch. Two Opera Columbus singers will perform some of Opera's greatest hits during lunch at Easton Town Center. This is a free performance.

Easton Town Square (at Easton Town Center)
160 Easton Town Center
Columbus, OH 43219
12 - 12:45 p.m.

Easton Town Square
Riverfront Arts Festival/WaterFire Columbus

Opera Columbus performs excerpts from Puccini’s classic opera “La Bohème” in English. Performance artist Robert Post makes his opera directing debut.

Riverfront Amphitheater, Genoa Park

Washington Blvd between Broad and Town streets

Columbus, OH 43215

Performance at 7:30 pm

Riverfront Amphitheater, Genoa Park
Opera at the North Market

Come hear some of Columbus' most talented Opera singers as you enjoy all the food and fun the North Market has to offer.

Singers perform from 11 - 11:45 a.m. & 12:15-1 p.m.

The North Market

I'll be there enjoying the beatiful voices and you can bet I'll be doing a little shopping at Easton and the North Market, too. Singing and shopping - two of my favorite things! Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sneak Peak

Underneath it all...everyone's an opera lover. Ain't that the truth?!

See some of the pictures for our season guide, taken by the cool folks at GroovyDoodle Photography, by visiting our facebook fan page. Thanks again to all of our fabulous volunteers!

And keep an eye out... our season guide will be appearing soon!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Let's Go Wild!

...for Opera, that is.

One of my favorite events of the year is happening tomorrow, July 10: Go Wild! for Opera at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

On Monday Bill Boggs, our fabulous Artistic Director and Maestro, super volunteer, Jeryl, and myself joined Suzi Rapp, from the Columbus Zoo, and a baby snow leopard to chat about the upcoming concert with our friends at NBC 4.

We had a great time chatting with Amy and Bob about the event. While I'm a little hurt they opted to use the baby snow leopard to promote the event and not yours truly, I'll get over it (I mean, it was pretty cute).

Our seventh annual concert, One Enchanted Evening: The music of Rodgers & Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber, will feature some of Columbus' favorite peformers. You'll hear songs from your favorite musicals including OKLAHOMA!, The King & I, Evita and Phantom of the Opera. Local media celebrities, Cabot Rea and Chuck Gillespie, will be emceeing the event. The concert at the Zoo begins at 8 p.m.

Adult general admission is $35 but if you use code GWMSNC you can save $10! For tickets call 614-724-3570 or click here. Your ticket gets you into the Zoo all day so be sure to come early and say hello to your favorite animals!

And don't worry about the weather. Bob is forcasting Friday's weather to be mostly sunny, hotter and a bit more humid.

See you at the Zoo!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Opera Unmasked

It's that time of year when we're busy putting together our season guide (it highlights all our upcoming shows). This year's theme (thanks to those creative folks at LondyLawrence) is, "Underneath it all, you're really an opera lover." Now, isn't that the (beautiful) truth?!

We needed some photography for the guide and decided to take our own using our friends, colleagues and volunteers. Our first potential dilemma was finding a photographer who would work with our photography budget (budget = nothing). The amazing Meloney and Adam from GroovyDoodle Photography answered our call! They graciously donated their time and talent. Plus, they're pretty groovy and fun people. We all had a blast working together!

Our next potential issue was finding people willing to be models for our guide. While Lisa Wwas a little worried people wouldn't show up (silly girl!), she had nothing to be worried about. Putting out a call for models on Twitter, Facebook, Craigslist, through OC's volunteer groups, sending some e-mail, asking our board members and calling in a few favors we had over 35 beautiful people show up. We had a wide variety of races and ages declaring themselves opera lovers.

To help illustrate our theme we had our models pose with...

...and without a mask (isn't our mini-studio cool?!).
We also shot some amazing photos to use as the main images for each of our upcoming shows (Pagliacci, Mario Lanza Tribute Concert and Romeo & Juliet). While I'd love to share those with you (becasue they are simiply amazing), I don't want to to ruin the surprise.

Stay tuned for updates (and photos) from our season guide!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Breakfast Thrusday

Thursdays might just be the favorite day of the week for Opera Columbus staffers. Why, you ask? Because Thursdays are our weekly staff meetings/breakfast. To make sure there are delightful breakfast goodies to tickle our taste buds we rotate through the staff and everyone takes their turn buying or bringing in breakfast. But, even better than the breakfast treats is the time we have to talk, discuss problems, troubleshoot and brainstorm new ideas.

Whether you're a staff of seven (plus a cow and the occasional office dog) or a staff of 1,000,007 it's important to be on the same page. Eating a meal together allows us to do just that. In fact, our fundrasier "Make Change for Opera" is a product of our weekly breakfast meeting (um, have you donated your chage yet? NO?! There's still plenty of time, click here for more info).

Today while dining at Tommy's Diner on Broad Street (which was AMAZING), I got to share some exciting news: I'm gonna be in the paper! The Columbus Dispatch to be more exact. Yesterday a photographer came to the office to take my picture (which, out of the kindess of my heart, I graciously and humbly permitted Lisa to be in, too) to accompany a story about local arts organizations and their use of social media (a list of most the Columbus arts organizations on Twitter can be found here). We were happy to share our story and why we think social media is so important. I think the article is going to appear on Monday, June 15. Don't worry, I'll let the world know when I make my Columbus print debut.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Make Some Change

It’s no secret that the economy isn’t so great right now. And that not-so-great economy is having an extreme impact on our donors, grants and the organization as a whole. Opera Columbus almost went under three years ago and we are committed to making sure we’re around for a long time. That wouldn’t be possible without the support we’ve received from the Columbus community and our commitment to fiscal responsibility.

I’m gonna be honest with you: Opera Columbus is struggling. We need to raise $90,000 by June 30 to finish the year in the black. (In other words, we need this to meet our budget and not carry forward any debt to next year. It's a big deal.)

Have you ever uddered the phrase, “I’d love to donate to the arts but I just don’t have the money.” I know, I have, too. But even the smallest amounts add up, and this can make a huge difference for Opera Columbus.

How? So glad you asked!

We’re launching a grassroots fundraising campaign called “Make Change for Opera Columbus.” We know times are tough for everyone, but all we’re asking you to do is donate your spare change to Opera Columbus. Come on, I know you have some sitting on top of the dryer or on your dresser. Have a House Coffee instead of a Grande Double Mocha Chip Latte one day and donate the difference to the Opera. $1, $5, $10 from enough people can have a huge impact on Central Ohio’s only professional opera company.

Let me put it this way: My co-worker, Lisa (@Minxy_OperaCols) has 800 followers on Twitter. If each of those followers donated $2, that would raise $1,600 for the organization. $1,600 could pay for an ad to promote our next show, it could pay for English-language supertitles for one production, it could pay for almost three in-school touring shows, it could help pay our utilities, it could pay for hardware used to put together sets onstage for one production…basically, it will help keep us alive and sharing this wonderful artform with our community.
We mean it when we say that every little bit helps.

Where can I donate? Well, friends, there are several ways:

1. Stop by the Opera Columbus offices (177 East Naghten Street) Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. or Friday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. We’re up on the second floor. You can drop change off there.

2. Visit us at a community programming event:

  • May 30: Opera at the North Market from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Check our calendar of events for other events between now and June 30.
3. Donate online to "Make Change for Opera Columbus"
  • You can donate online using the Twitter application, Tipjoy. You can simply tweet "p $2 @OperaColumbus to help our cause @tipjoy" or use the tool below or in the side bar. You'll need to set up an account with TipJoy in order for your donation to reach Opera Columbus. Read more about TipJoy here.

UPDATE: Don't have a Twitter account but want to donate online? No worries. Just use the "Make Change" tool to your right. All you have to do is enter your e-mail address. Instructions for completing your donation will arrive in your inbox.

How else can I help?
My, you are so thoughtful. Thanks for asking.

One simple way (besides donating) you can help: Tell others. Use the power of social media to share this cause with others. At happy hour, tell your friends. E-mail 10 of your friends and ask them to make some change for Opera Columbus.

Here's another way you can help: Put a change receptacle in your office, business, etc. The more opportunities people have to "Make Change" the more change we can make. Contact Lisa by e-mail, Twitter or phone (614.461.8101) to get a change receptacle. Our goal for "Make Change" isn't to raise the full $90,000 we need, although it would be pretty sweet if we could. Our goal is to "make change" by raising $2,000 by June 30. I believe we can do it (and we can watch the status on our goal tracker to the right). Please consider donating and helping to "Make Change for Opera Columbus." Your $.75, $1.00 or $5.00 donation will make a huge difference and will help to ensure Opera Columbus is around for a long time.

Special thanks to Huntington Bank for generously agreeing to count all the money raised to "Make Change for Opera Columbus." And, thanks to you, in advance, for your support.

Plus, how often can you say, a cow asked me to donate to the opera? It will make for great happy hour/dinner party conversation.