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Riders of the Purple Sage Bohmler

An exciting new trend has begun among America’s smaller regional companies, who are busily commissioning and staging world premieres. Many use smaller venues to mitigate financial risk, but Arizona Opera mounted its first world premiere since the company’s inception in 1972 as a main stage production

ARIZONA OPERA, TUCSON

USA

Music ** *

Staging ** * *

World Premiere

Craig Bohmler and Steven Mark Kohn’s Riders of the Purple Sage is also Arizona Opera’s first commissioned work, and the first opera based on the American Western genre. I would more accurately categorise the new work as musical theatre with operatic aspirations. This was good musical storytelling with the ingredients of a Western: the knight errant/antiestablishment hero (Lassiter) and a strong female character (Jane Withersteen).

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About Opera Now

Christophe Rousset celebrates a quarter century at the forefront of the Early Music scene with Les Talens Lyriques; Sir John Eliot Gardiner takes Monteverdi’s three surviving operas on tour around the world; and our guide to the brightest and best opera festivals of 2017. Plus, remembering the velvet voice of Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda; individuality and imagination in the songs of Arthur Sullivan; Debussy’s ravishing Pelléas lets down its hair at Garsington; American baritone Scott Hendricks shares his love of playing bad boys; the art of the librettist; British conductor Nicholas Chalmers; and an 80th birthday tribute to Grace Bumbry.
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