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.


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