Opera singer Jane Hoffman plays the part of  fire in  the Emerald City Opera's production of Maurice Ravel’s “The Child and the Spells”. The show, which tells the story of a young child who mistreats his toys and many other things around him, will be presented by the Emerald City Opera at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Photo by John F. Russell

Opera singer Jane Hoffman plays the part of fire in the Emerald City Opera's production of Maurice Ravel’s “The Child and the Spells”. The show, which tells the story of a young child who mistreats his toys and many other things around him, will be presented by the Emerald City Opera at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Emerald City Opera performances to take place this weekend

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— The Emerald City Opera has a new saying this summer: “You don’t like opera? We challenge you to come and see it.”

New artistic director Andres Cladera said this season’s performances are accessible, fun and offer a modern take on the classic tales.

“It’s not what you would think traditional opera is,” Cladera said. “It’s opera for everybody, and the productions are at a very high level, with pieces that you won’t get to see anywhere else.”

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Emerald City Opera’s Opera Artist Institute will perform Maurice Ravel’s “The Child and the Spells” and Lee Hoiby’s “Bon Appetit” in the Julie Harris Theater at the Perry Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp. The institute will present another showing at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the same theater.

These are family oriented shows that will be performed in English. Ravel's “The Child and the Spells” is a fantasy story of a child who is cruel to the people and things around him. The story takes a turn of magic for this young troublemaker as he learns a few life lessons. Hoiby’s “Bon Appetit” is a witty, one-woman performance that brings Julia Child to life through beautiful arias.

“It’s an interesting thing, putting these two performances together,” said Keturah Stickann, director for the the Emerald City Opera’s performance of “The Child and the Spells” and “Bon Appetit.” “It’s a great dichotomy.”

This year, the 23 young artists in the program represent the greatest number of performers Emerald City Opera has ever had. Coming from all over the United States and with one student from Japan, the performers work with visiting opera professionals and perform concerts throughout the community.

On Saturday evening there will be a fully staged professional opera production of Leonard Bernstein's “Candide," accompanied by a symphony orchestra.

Based upon the original book by Voltaire, the production includes many satirical criticisms on society, along with captivating arias, Cladera said. The opera professionals involved in this production include Jonathan Blalock, John Clayton Seesholtz and Marcia Ragonetti.

The cast and staff have spent less than two weeks rehearsing and preparing for this weekend’s performances.

“I’m looking forward to opening night. They have worked really hard and have produced strong products, and it will be all about letting that energy transfer to the stage,” Stickann said. “I hope audiences are wildly entertained.”

TIckets range in price from $20 to $75 and can be purchased online at emeraldcityopera.com. On the day of performances, tickets will only be sold at the door.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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