Anchorage Opera announces a noble trinity for next season, 2012/2013

Experience Anchorage Opera’s 2012/2013 season, concluding the 50th anniversary and launching the next fifty years of designing, manufacturing, and producing grand entertainment. AO’s next varietal collection strikes three fundamental musical elements of outstanding presentation of Arts Alive in Alaska.

CONTEMPORARY ~ The controversial and charismatic Victoria Woodhull, captures a young nation’s imagination. Victoria Bond’s riveting new opera, Mrs. President is the story of the first woman to run for President in 1872. A pioneer of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Anchorage Opera presents this extraordinary World-Premiere with two performances this fall, October 5th & 7th, 2012.

TRADITIONAL ~ Dramatically captivating, Tosca, is a woman of fiery passion. Her love and her will stop at nothing to defend. Caught between political corruption and honor, she controls her destiny against it all. Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece, Tosca, returns to the stage to dramatically illustrate quintessential opera for both the devoted and the next generation of opera lovers. January 26, 30; February 1 & 3rd, 2013.

MODERN CLASSIC ~ Lighthearted and delightful! The longest running musical of it’s time- George Bernard Shaw’s portrayal of Eliza Doolittle’s life thrust into a distant societal structure from her own. Eliza’s story and transformation into a graceful woman of the world is the musical classic that everyone loves to love. Lerner & Lowe’s My Fair Lady Anchorage Opera debut March 29, 30; April 3, 5, 6, & 7th, 2013.

Season Subscriptions available now, for a limited time. Contact Anchorage Opera @ 907-279-2568 or for more information.


Stop the Presses! AO’s The Sound of Music is making waves on and off stage

Anchorage Opera’s production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music proclaimed an outstanding success!

photo by Denny Wells

Following it’s original roots, the beloved classic by Rodgers & Hammerstein appears in traditional Broadway form. High caliber, classically trained singers boasting warm, rich tonal quality with vocal characterization are paired with the original full orchestration. LIVE orchestra, not “canned” (recorded, or “synthesized”) music of today’s now predominantly elected practice. Setting Anchorage Opera’s production of The Sound of Music above it’s Broadway touring competitors and local musical theatre presenters. If that isn’t enough to impress- AO is a ‘Production’ company, rather than ‘Presenting’ one. All performances are fully manufactured and produced by artists in the great state of Alaska.

While Alaskans can certainly appreciate their Resident Artists in focus, AO’s stead within the professional operatic industry earns it many nods and helping hands. From Great Britain, the well accomplished Scenic Designer, Cleo Pettitt, adds some mystique and awe. Showing off her talent in refining and revealing the seamless marrying of the complex nature in creating the illusion between scenic design and musical interlude. Conveying that each operate together in harmony offering smooth, interesting, and believable transitions from back to foreground, by use of thoughtful integration of ‘fly’ and ‘slip stage’ components. Allowing the audience to be immersed in the changes throughout the story, by watching all the elements moving together, they are part of the performers transitions as well.

Anchorage Opera’s visiting principal artists, coming nationally with diverse skill, are indeed key players also. Soprano, Katrina Thurman (Maria); Baritone, Chad Sloan (Captain Von Trapp); Baritone, Curt Olds (Max Detweiler); Mezzo-Soprano, Jessica Bowers (Mother Abbess) both add to and ignite the spark of talent of AO’s Resident Artists, particularly the Von Trapp family children; All who’re resident and rising young artists. An outstanding combination that culminates into an absolutely fabulous presentation by Anchorage Opera, that audiences love. With four performances already from it’s opening weekend, the houses were full of laughter, song (audience singing along), and standing ovations.

Elsewhere around town- others are dreaming of Austria too. Anchorage’s favorite wine bistro & cellar, CRUSH is serving a delicious Austrian style Mushroom soup. In perfect succession with their featured Austrian wine flight, ‘Raindrops on Rotwein’. A collaboration with AO in honor of The Sound of Music, available through the month of April. Located just two blocks from the Performing Arts Center, AO’s performance home. Again, community and Alaskan arts are one.

Don’t miss this magnificent illustration of joyous music and the Alaskan arts. Five more performances this week, starting Wednesday evening April 4th. Visit or for more information- call 907-263-ARTS for tickets now.

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start . . .

When you read you begin with A, B, C

When you sing you begin with Do, Re, Mi

The original story from the 1956 German film, ‘Die Trapp-Familie‘ combined with Maria von Trapp’s autobiography, ‘The Story of the Trapp Family Singers‘ was the basis for Rodger’s and Hammersteins now beloved family Musical classic, The Sound of Music. Debuting in 1959 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway.

Three years later in Alaska, was the founding of Anchorage Opera, in 1962. In just three more years the national 1965 debut of The Sound of Music film would mirror the first Off-Broadway presentation of the staged musical- at yours truly– Anchorage Opera in it’s 1965/1966 Season. Yes, that means AO and the world-wide classic film starring Dame Julie Andrews share anniversaries!

A mere 47 years later brings us back to do-oh-oh-oh! Anchorage Opera’s 50th Anniversary season celebrates and revisits it’s roots by producing the acclaimed Rodger’s & Hammersteins musical, The Sound of Music. This March, Alaskans experience their spectacular “hills” alive with the sound of music once more.

This monumental production, boasting nine sensational performances, takes the stage Friday night, March 30th at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. For more information or to purchase tickets: visit; call 907-263-ARTS now.

Breaking frozen ground- Intermezzo: 6° of Connection

Anchorage Opera’s new collective, Intermezzo, is taking the local social scene by storm. With the weather in Alaska battling to turn from winter to spring, Anchorage’s cold air is a breezy buzz over gatherings around town in the name of Intermezzo.

While most of the world is inundated in streaming social media networks made to connect people, some have been left out in the cold. Though sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. are designed to facilitate individuals connecting by the sharing of information, we’re starting to see supplementation of sharing a Tweet or Post over meeting for coffee or lunch. Our habits are beginning to favor social short cuts rather than face-to-face connectivity in meeting new people.

Try some ice-breaking social heat. Living in Alaska, residents know how to make the best of 6° degrees. Capitalizing on a personal approach is the platform where people can come together to refashion six degrees of separation into six degrees of real, face-to-face connection.

Intermezzo is about taking a step back. Networking with real people, in real-time. A collective of individuals connecting over a common love- love for the arts! You don’t have to love opera to mix with Intermezzo. Art comes in many forms; opera is just one of them. Theatrics, Dance, Instrumental, Designing, etc. are all translatable art. If your version of Instrumental is by playing in the symphony or by spinning a set as a DJ, or Dance is at the ballet vs. in your own living room- we won’t argue. These are just a few of so many forms of art worth celebrating.

Not found online. Not found in a database. By invitation only, because it’s about connecting with real people. Hosting private parties of the classiest nature, featuring vintage cocktails, piano jazz, wine tastings and more. Start asking around because Intermezzo is found only within the Anchorage community. Once again, setting Alaskans apart from the rest. Need a hint? Pick-up the trail at local Anchorage business, Sub Zero Microlounge. They feature AO’s signature and specifically designed cocktail- the Intermezzo. Get to know AO and it’s new collective, Intermezzo. That is Art Alive in Alaska.

I ♥ Art

What do you call art, and in how many forms does it take? Purists may argue, but the overarching trend is more forward recognition that opera is the summation of all performing arts combined to create one amazing spectacle.

The performing artist takes the stage- countless and unsurmountable hours that are the labor of love coming to final fruition. Typically clothed in a masterpiece of a costume, adorned with tresses that are nothing less than the persona they present, cosmetic and special adornments from the eyes to toes. The individual themselves becomes art. But to be taken away with them to the far off fantasy they engage requires setting the stage around them. From clouds to smoke and fire, villa’s and castles, dungeons and lakes; more artists construct everything to transport you to another realm. The end result is nothing less than spectacular.

On Saturday, February 25th we’ll take a venture to another realm, one which is in celebration of the Arts Alive in Alaska! Bringing together Anchorage Opera’s artists of Verdi’s Macbeth & Alaska Dance Theatre’s of Othello. Together, crafting one more piece of art- THE Arts Industry Party of the year.

Anchorage's beautiful Bridge Restaurant

If you love art- and if you like to mingle, if you like to laugh- this is your night. Celebrating 50 years of Opera & 30 years of Dance in Alaska at The Bridge Restaurant. With tiny bubbles abound, LIVE dancers, singers, and stars- it’s the culmination of two perfectly complimentary artistic existences.

Let them eat cake! Lucky Anchorage locals can snag the few remaining tickets for what’s to be the hottest night on the town by calling 907-277-9591

Love, Lust, & Greed. Macbeth, a love story.

Happy Valentines Day the Shakespearean way! A brief insight of a most villainous and self-indulgent pair, Lord & Lady Macbeth.

Like many couples, the Macbeth’s have their problems. One can only imagine the stress of coming home to a wife like Lady Macbeth, insisting that murder is the only way to bring success and satisfaction to an otherwise dull, and meager existence and marriage. Of course, doing anything less than her wishes would have her treating you as a coward. But maybe it’s okay, because she continues to remind you that deep down, beneath it all, she really loves you.

Anchorage Opera- Verdi's Macbeth

photo by Petra Lisiecki

Throughout Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, the story follows the ongoing tumultuous marriage between Lord and Lady Macbeth, and their subsequent rise and fall from glory. Lady Macbeth dramatically blurs the lines between love and lust, ambition and greed, all with seamless manipulation. The complications of their relationship forge the dark, murderous plot wherein together they eventually seize the throne. If you think you have problems- revelations of their deluded glory, and in the end, their all consuming guilt is more than enough to put any somewhat-problematic relationship to shame. While audiences can indulge in their mistakes and bare witness to their seething lust for power, cloaked in love for each other, we also know better. Their tale reminds us that while love is all powerful, it’s best used for good rather than evil. Thankfully,  the Macbeth’s list of intentions didn’t include having children to carry on their legacy of wickedness.

Verdi’s portrayal of this iconic story is a brilliant use of Shakespeare’s intense, evil-doing characters paired with traditional Italian operatic and orchestral sound. This is the only true, happy marriage resulting from Macbeth.

See it LIVE! Anchorage Opera’s Alaskan premiere of Verdi’s Macbeth begins Saturday, February 18th. Check out to purchase tickets now!

Alaskan Premiere: Verdi’s Macbeth & World Premiere: Mrs. President!

What’s happening with opera in the far, Great White North?
Alaska’s snowy, icy conditions can’t keep the heat off the hottest premiere’s emerging in Alaska, and worldwide!

This February, Anchorage Opera presents the Alaskan Premiere of Verdi’s MACBETH! featuring a stellar cast of amazing vocal artists donning marvelous Shakespearean costumes amidst a new, dramatic set – the perfect combination for an epic presentation of everything classic Italian opera is all about.

HOLD ON. . . there is more.

AO’s 2012/2013 Season will launch with the WORLD PREMIERE of the new opera, MRS. PRESIDENT, the story of the first woman to run for President of the United States of America, Victoria Woodhull. When was this!? 1872! Decades before women even had the right to vote, which is just the tip of the iceberg. Woodhull was a clairvoyant, publisher, stockbroker and proponent of free love. Her Vice Presidental running mate was the visionary leader and ex-slave, Fredrick Douglas.

A seething drama of ambition and betrayal by Victoria Bond and Hillary Bell, Mrs. President tells the story of one 19th century woman’s visionary struggle to defy history and become the first female President of the United States of America. Want to know more?

Check out

Art inspiring art! AO’s The Golden Age, The Encore- what’s it all about?

Fun artistic facts about the creation of Anchorage Opera’s 50th Anniversary Season- The Golden Age, The Encore!

If opera is the glorious presentation all performing arts- voice, orchestra, acting, and sometimes even dance- then it is appropriate that we look at other great leading artists for inspiration.

Our 50th Anniversary Season pays homage to our more recent Golden Age – the Golden and roaring Twenties. Specifically, popular artist of the era, Gustav Klimt. Klimt’s use of gold foil and beautiful detailed color sparked our interest for imagery to lead the next 50 years of Arts Alive in Alaska. Our Golden Lady is a direct and strong representation of Klimt’s Judith I., celebrating the joy and beauty of youth, both in art and music.

2012 is not only Anchorage Opera’s 50th Anniversary,
but also Gustav Klimt’s 150th birthday!

Leading American soprano Brenda Harris to perform Lady Macbeth in AO’s Macbeth!

Leading American soprano Brenda Harris, will be appearing with AO next season as Lady Macbeth in the Alaskan premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth! Audiences and critics are praising Ms. Harris’ virtuosity. Here’s what they’re saying …

this is drop-dead gorgeous singing, soaring on high, glowing with mezzo-ish warmth in lower registers, nearly every phrase elegantly turned.

her emotionally intense and unsparing performance carries the show more than anything else

Brenda Harris was fabulous as Lady Macbeth. Her soprano seemed voluminous, and her characterization virtually dripped with bile.

Visit to learn more about Diva Harris.

Visit to get your tickets!

Macbeth Syndrome … 13 ways to avoid a lifetime of regrets


Photo courtesy of Des Moines Metro Opera.

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