“Opera for Lovers” perfect for Valentine’s Day

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    By ELYSSA RENEE MADSEN

    Stuck in Provo for Valentines Day? Looking for a way to combine culture and romance? Love opera? If so, you can still purchase tickets for this year’s Valentine’s Day performance of “Opera for Lovers.”

    Presented by the Utah Lyric Opera Society, “Opera for Lovers,” opens 8 p.m. Valentine’s Day at the Provo Tabernacle.

    “Opera for Lovers” brings romance and a touch of Broadway to conventional opera. Featuring famous duets and love songs from Gilbert and Sullivan, Broadway, operetta and opera, the performance is an ideal way to celebrate Valentines Day, said Shirley Brewster, Utah Lyric Opera Society secretary.

    “Everything goes with Valentines Day: the songs, the performances, the scenery … It is beautifully done, very professional,” Brewster said.

    Under the musical direction of Barbara Allen and stage direction of Matt Bean, “Opera for Lovers” features performances from renowned Utah artists. One of the prominent performers, Susan Deauvono, will appear in the opera. Deauvono has appeared in performances of “La Boheme,” “Die Fledermaus” and “The Merry Widow.”

    Show highlights include “Songs from the Mikado” by Gilbert and Sullivan, “Madame Butterfly” a grand opera, “A Magic Flute” an opera, and songs from famous musicals including “Gigi” and “The Most Happy Fella.” In addition, one piece, “The Telephone,” combines opera and comedy.

    From Mozart to Bernstien, the opera has a beautiful blend of music, Brewster said.

    The show culminates with a choir of 60 singers, directed by Ralph Woodward, singing “Make our Garden Grow.”

    Unlike many operas, “Opera for Lovers” is performed in English, and will appeal to a variety of people, said Dixie Clifford, a spokesperson for the Utah Lyric Opera Society.

    “It has broad appeal,” Clifford said, noting that the opera features “grand performances by local talent.”

    Howard Ruff, the Utah Lyric Opera Society general manager, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Ruff is a famous financial publisher and political commentator.

    Even those not interested in traditional opera may enjoy this innovative performance, Brewster said.

    “I was pleasantly suprised (with last year’s performance) because I’m not an opera lover,” Brewster said.

    Last year’s performance of “Opera for Lovers” was so popular that seating sold out quickly. Clifford recommends that students purchase tickets as soon as possible.

    To encourage couples to attend the performance, Utah Lyric Opera Society is offering two-for-one tickets for $15. Tickets can be purchased at Best in Music or by calling 225-9236. Students can also obtain more information about the performance by calling 225-9236.

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