Series spotlights musical variety | SteamboatToday.com
Susan Cunningham

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Series spotlights musical variety

In the opera “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” mild-mannered Goldilocks has become an escaped convict and is holding up the three bears for their fur coats. The moral of this upside-down story, all told through singing, is that everybody should and can enjoy opera.

On Saturday, the opera will be presented by the Emerald City Opera’s Touring Opera Troupe. The performance is one of five that are wrapped into a show as part of the Springsips Resident Artists Spotlight Series, presented by Emerald City Opera.

Keri Rusthoi, founder and artistic director of Emerald City Opera, said that Saturday’s show will be light, entertaining and diverse.

“It’s actually just plain-old fun for everybody,” Rusthoi said. “I think there’s something for everyone in it — it’s just perfect.”

The entire performance features local artists and groups, showcasing the range of talent in Steamboat Springs, she said. It originally was planned to feature vocalist Susie Hadden, but when Hadden was unable to perform, Rusthoi pulled together a new show. The afternoon was arranged with Mother’s Day in mind.

“Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is the last performance of the afternoon. The performance typically is brought to schools to educate students about opera.

“It takes the most familiar opera tunes, which nobody thinks that they know, but they really do know, and changes the words,” Rusthoi said.

For most people, one barrier to opera is the concern that the story will be impossible to understand, she said. That’s not a problem with good opera, and it’s not a problem with the Goldilocks performance.

“Mostly, it’s just experiencing a really good story and understanding the story through singing,” Rusthoi said.

“If you can’t understand, why on earth would you want to go? … My saying is, if you’re not passionately in love with opera, you just haven’t heard good opera.”

The Columbine Youth Chorale, which Rusthoi directs, will lead off the afternoon of music. The group of 7- to 13-year-old singers will perform a variety of pieces.

Next, Ian Noble, a 14-year-old tenor and winner of the 2005 Emerald City Opera Vocal Encouragement Award for Young Men, will perform a few arias.

The Emerald City Jewel Singers, an a cappella group similar to a barber shop quartet, then will perform arrangements to familiar tunes, including “Shenandoah” and “Over the Rainbow.”

Fourth will be the Avalon Quartet, which features strings, performing several classical pieces. They will be followed by “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

Each act is 10 to 15 minutes long, Rusthoi said, so the show should take about two hours.