“It’s the voices.” It’s Opera Idaho’s tagline. It refers, of course, to the glorious voices that make every performance memorable. On a deeper level, Opera Idaho gives some important points of view a chance to be heard. Alongside favorites from Puccini, Gilbert and Sullivan, Handel, and more, are works that challenge the very notion of what opera is and its relevance in today’s world.
This spring, Opera Idaho presented As One, a coming-of-age story about a transgender woman. This powerful work gave rise to a panel discussion focused on gender identity and social topics explored in the opera. Considering Matthew Shepard was a particularly prescient choice for Opera Idaho’s Critical Mass Vocal Artists during Pride Month. It was a moving musical response to the tragic death of a young, gay student who became an American icon and a symbol of hope and empowerment.
For 45 years, this vital nonprofit group has brought both classical and contemporary works to audiences all over Idaho. Children’s Choruses, the Rising Stars program for high school singers, and free performances at elementary schools introduce students to the artform at an early age. The highly popular Operatini and Ales & Arias series allow adults to experience the artform in a fun, relaxed setting. Community outreach efforts fill hospitals, libraries, community events, and more with Opera Idaho’s beautiful voices.
Blog photo courtesy of Jonathan Collins, @jonathancollinsphotography