Opera Coeur d'Alene brings Rigoletto to the Northwest | Arts & Culture
Opera is an age old musical tradition, and in recent years it's been making a comeback in the art community. Opera Coeur d'Alene is providing a local platform to hear the powerful vocals of world class opera.
“We try to make it accessible,” said Artistic Director Aaron St. Clair Nicholson. “Opera right now is really hot.”
Nicholson explains that the performance art is transforming from being exclusively for the first class crowd to being a chic way for young people to spend a Friday night because it provides and interesting and meaningful experience.
To provide their audience with the best opera possible, Opera Coeur d'Alene has brought in four national and international opera stars to headline their fall performance of Rigoletto. The three act opera is regarded as Verdi's masterpiece and is based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo, the French author that gave the world Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
“It's an incredible opera,” said Nicholson. In order to make it more accessible, and to put his own twist on the classic, Nicholson has broken away from the traditional 16th Century setting of the piece. Instead of ornate costumes, Nicholson has put his actors into styles representing how he thinks people of the 16th century may have imagined the future.
The four principle roles are being played by singers from the international opera community, but the chorus roles are being played by locals and it's giving them an opportunity to perform with some of opera's best.
“We're proud to have them as well,” said Nicholson.
Nicholson said Opera Coeur d'Alene is working hard to make their mark on the world of opera, and to make Coeur d'Alene a destination for performers and fans. The group has begun working with advertisers and regional chambers of commerce to get the word out and tap into Coeur d'Alene's strong tourist culture.
Since they started bringing arias to the stage in 2000, Opera Coeur d'Alene has performed their main stage production in the mid to late fall. Next season, they are hoping to be more a part of the tourism season by moving the show up to the summer months. Other yearly shows include the Opera Cruise and Opera on the Lake.
For now, they will bring their interpretation of Rigoletto to the Schuler Performing Arts Center at North Idaho College for performances on Friday and Saturday. For more information on Opera Coeur d'Alene or to purchase tickets to see Rigoletto click HERE.