Utah Opera sings 'Once Upon A Time' music of fairy tales

Thursday , March 17, 2016 - 1:00 PM

Standard-Examiner correspondent

OGDEN — Once upon a time ... It’s such a well-known phrase, most people instantly relate it to their favorite fairy tale.

On Tuesday, March 22, the Ogden Opera Guild is giving a free gift to the public that includes music from many of those make-believe magical stories.

“Once Upon A Time,” performed by Utah Opera Resident Artists, will be held at 1:45 p.m. at Weber State University.

“This year ‘Once Upon a Time’ will showcase music from popular opera and musical theater. This will be music that everybody loves,” said Paula Fowler, director of education and community outreach for the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera. “The resident artists are young, up-and-coming opera singers and a pianist who create a great performance.”



• WHAT: Once Upon A Time

• WHO: Utah Opera resident artists, sponsored by Ogden Opera Guild

• WHEN: 1:45 p.m. March 22

• WHERE: Garrison Choral Room of Browning Center, Weber State University, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden



Every season, one of the projects created for Utah Opera’s Resident Artists ,who are on a nine-month contract with the company, is a traveling concert, Fowler said.

“At least three times during the year, we send them to various counties and school districts throughout the state, and we provide a concert for the community on one of those nights,” she said. “For these shows out on the road, we need a program with a small set that can fit in a van, and lots of great opportunities for our professional opera singers to shine, both dramatically and musically, and we want it to be inviting for families, for people of all ages.”

Fowler said there are many operas and musicals based on fairy tales, so the opera guild thought the topic was perfect for the needs of its traveling concerts.

The free event has been offered to the public for approximately six years, Fowler said.

“We love it. It’s wonderful to collaborate with both the guild and Weber State University. The audience for the concert is always partly the guild members and partly the students,” she said. “It’s an excellent opportunity for university vocalists to study superb examples of young professional opera artists and to have the opportunity of asking them questions about how they are putting their opera careers together and how to make the next steps on this career path.”

The performers include five singers and a pianist.

Jessica Jones, a soprano, was a finalist in the 2012 Northwest region Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She holds a master’s degree in performance from the Moores School of Music in Houston.

Sarah Coit, a mezzo-soprano, has a master’s degree in music program from the University of Michigan. She was previously a young artist with the St. Petersburg Opera Company.

Tenor Christian Sanders is known for having a voice whose color belies his age. He holds a master’s degree from Rice University and a bachelor’s of arts magna cum laude in music from Point Loma Nazarene University.

Markel Reed, a baritone, is fast establishing himself as a wonderful conveyor of the works of Mozart. He recently traveled the state of Kentucky with the Schmidt Opera Outreach Program, presenting a colorful rendition of “Jack in the Beanstalk” to more than 2,000 children. He graduated from the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre program.

Pianist Timothy Accurso has a master’s degree in vocal coaching and accompanying from the University of Illinois as well as a bachelor’s degree in vocal and piano performance from Susquehanna University in Japan. In 2014, he coached and performed for the Franco American Vocal Academy in Paris and Perigeux France.

Some of the music in this production includes Stephen Schwartz’ “Magic to Do” from “Pippin,” Stephen Sondheim’s “On the Steps of the Palace” from “Into the Woods,” Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Ten Minutes Ago” from “Cinderella,” “Birdcatcher’s Song” from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and Gioachino Rossini’s “Una volta c’era un re” from “La Cenerentola.”

Another performance of “Once Upon a Time” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 14 at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City.


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