April 3rd, 2005, 3pm at Century Two concert hall at home here in Wichita KS I experienced my first opera. I have been hooked, some say obsessed, ever sense. It just happened that the performance was Puccini's La Boheme, one of the greatest all time Operas ever written, in my humble opinion.
I went with my Mother in Law at the time who was a big opera and symphony fan. What a show. Act one when Marcello and Rodolfo were burning pages of the book and...well, if you haven't seen it yet, you should.
Here in Wichita we have a very good opera company. Besides our super talented Resident artists, the artistic directer, Margaret Ann Penn, also brings in some really great and often times famous outside help. Names such as Hector Sandoval, Zvetelina Vassileva, Marcello Giordani and even Kansas own Samuel Ramsey. The list doesn't stop there either.
The performances over the years have included Carmen, The Magic Flute, Faust, La Traviata and Aida, just to name a few. The sets are professionally done, elaborate and beautiful designs. The costumes nothing short of stunning.
If you should ever call Wichita Home and are an opera fan, you have chosen the right place to live. If the WGO doesn't have something to your liking, or if you just want more opera, the Lyric in Kansas City, just 3 1/2 hours away also has a really nice program. Tulsa Oklahoma, believe it or not, is famous for thier opera house. Again, just three hours away. There is more great opera around here than the biggest critic, or fan, could ever dream of.
So, are you an Opera fan, and if so what's your favorite?