Opera in the Ozarks Begins Preparations for Memorable 64th Season
National auditions set to take place in December and January
Northwest Arkansas — Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point, one of the nation’s premier operatic training programs, is pleased to announce its 2014 Season repertoire.
– Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte
– Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi
– Sondheim’s Into the Woods
Located at a special place called Inspiration Point in the picturesque hills just outside of Eureka Springs, Ark., Opera in the Ozarks will begin its 64th season on Friday, June 20, 2014 and will run through July 18, 2014. During that four-week period, audiences will experience performances by the operatic stars of tomorrow in an intimate outdoor theater setting. These emerging opera professionals, selected through national auditions, will intensely train for four weeks prior to opening night and then go on to perform in 26 fully produced operas that are accompanied by a gifted orchestra featuring professional musicians from across the country.
Dr. Thomas Cockrell, Opera in the Ozarks’ Artistic Director (B.A., Yale University; M.M. and D.M.A, State University of New York at Stony Brook; Conducting Diploma, L’Accademia Chigiana, Siena, Italy), is currently the Director of the James E. Rogers Institute for Orchestral and Opera Conducting, established at The University of Arizona School of Music in 2007. Cockrell has also served as the Nelson Riddle Endowed Chair in Music, Director of Orchestral Activities, and Music Director of the University of Arizona Opera Theater since 2000.
Cockrell is equally at home on the symphonic podium as he is in the opera pit, regularly working with both professional and student musicians. In 2010 he was appointed Artistic Director of Opera in the Ozarks, where he had previously served as Music Director from 2003-05.
Dr. Cockrell has conducted the professional symphony orchestras of Dallas, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Tucson, Louisville and Boulder, as well as several in Romania, Italy, Mexico and South Korea. Operatic credits include productions for Dayton Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Theatre of the Rockies and Washington D.C.’s Summer Opera Theatre. He served as the Associate Conductor of Cincinnati Opera, Opera Colorado, The Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the Spoleto Festivals, and Music Director of Denver Young Artists Orchestra. He was a member of the conducting faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp from 2006-08. Cockrell also frequently serves as conductor and clinician for regional and all-state music festivals. In 2008 he was the conducting master teacher for the College Orchestra Directors Association national conference, and is increasingly sought after for conducting master courses throughout the U.S. and in Mexico, Asia and Europe.
“The 64th Season of Opera in the Ozarks promises to be one of the most splendid yet. This year’s repertoire is outstanding with something for everyone.” Cockrell said. “And the exciting news to be released in the near future will make this season even more special.”
Dr. Cockrell will be joined by other Opera in the Ozarks staff members who also come from professional opera companies and outstanding college music faculties — including independent specialists in areas such as stage combat, costumes, wigs and make-up, and master classes. The music staff numbers 22 plus an orchestra of 26 representing professional symphony players combined with advanced college players.
Since 1950, Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point has proven to be the springboard for many talented singers who have gone on to grace the stages of major opera houses around the world.
Alumnus Mark Delavan puts it eloquently: “Everyone has heard the old saying, ‘every journey begins with a single step,’ and nowhere is it truer than in a professional opera career. Opera in the Ozarks was my first step in that career. It was there that I learned how to perform under pressure. I had already performed opera on the University level, but Opera in the Ozarks was the place where I could sing in the native tongue and in a repertory situation where I was singing and working every night. This was invaluable to me professionally. To know if one can do something, the safest way to find out is to do it.”
Delavan has gone on to make quite a name for himself in the world of opera. He performed at The Met in March and April 2013. He has also sung roles with other leading American companies including the Houston Grand Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the New York City Opera, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Pittsburgh Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, and the Washington National Opera. Outside of the United States, Delavan has made appearances at the Bavarian State Opera, the Berlin State Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Liceu, the Prague National Theatre and the Royal Opera House in London, among others.
There is great anticipation for the 2014 Season with exciting news to be announced in coming weeks. For information about this upcoming special announcement and to learn more about Opera in the Ozarks, the upcoming season and national audition process, or for ticketing information, visit the new and improved website at www.opera.org. And, be sure to keep up with the latest updates by “Liking” Opera in the Ozarks on Facebook at facebook.com/operaozarks.