Patrick B. McGuigan
High quality professional opera is now “home-grown” in Oklahoma City, through the work of Painted Sky Opera, the state’s first professional theatre company.
Painted Sky performers and their friends from Opera on Tap! donated their services to raise money for the American Red Cross (Oklahoma) at a stellar benefit program held on September 17, in the worship space at First Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City.
Performers (and some of their selections) included Dorian McCall (In Christ Alone), Liz Wasson (Stella de marinar), Tom Sitzler (The Impossible Dream), Laura Wardwell (Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix), J. Warren Mitchell (E lucevan le stelle, Give Me Jesus), Nicole Van Every (Sempre Libera, Somewhere Over the Rainbow), Bill Christensen (Dein ist mein ganzes Herz), Barbara Fox DeMaio (La Mamma morte), Justin Kroll (Morgen).
Saira Frank and Brett Payne soared in a spiritual duet, The Prayer.
The entire group came together for Va Pensiero and in support of Alexandra Carmon’s interpretation of You’ll Never Walk Alone.
The ensemble had opened the production with a stirring rendition of America the Beautiful, and closed the evening leading the crowd in a soaring interpretation of the Star Spangled Banner.
Those wishing to support Painted Sky’s efforts to bolster hurricane relief, please visit:
Still ahead, Saira Frak and Nicole Van Every will divide the lead part in ‘Tosca,’ the classic Giacomo Puccini’s opera that opens the second season for Painted Sky. Those performances will take place October 6 (8 p.m.), Oct/ 7 (8 p.m.) and Oct. 8 (2 p.m.) at the Freede Little Theatre in the downtown Civic Center Music Hall.
A stellar cast of rising stars will support the leading ladies, including J. Warren Mitchell and Joel Burcham as Tosca’s lover, Cararadossi, and Thomas Cannon and Tom Sitzler alternating as Scarpia.
While the classic themes of ‘Tosca!’ were detailed in last month’s story, suffice it to say, in the words of artistic director Rob Glaubitz, that the story “connects with universal themes that will always be relevant. Tosca touches both the bright and dark aspects of humanity in its exploration of love and freedom and how the forces of evil conspire to oppress and destroy both.”
Ticket information for Painted Sky’s performances is available online – or from the Civic Center Music Hall box office, 201 North Walker Avenue in Oklahoma City, telephone 405-297-2264. Office hours are Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Season tickets cannot be purchased online.)
Season options are the most economical: $80 for season ticket, with reserved seating at all three Painted Sky shows. Details on various special offers can be found at the opera’s home website.