Short Works: The Show Before the Show

One of the gems of Central City Opera’s Summer Festival is our presentation of Short Works, also known as Opera Scenes. These half-hour performances put young artists in the spotlight and allow them to show off their diverse skills in acting and performing. Just as the name implies, these are not full opera performances but rather selected scenes from a variety of operas by a multitude of composers. So far, Central City Opera has presented scenes from Orfeo Ed Euridice, Ragtime, Cendrillon, The Elixir of Love, Manon, Street Scene, The Rake’s Progress, Eugene Onegin, Alladin, The Sound of Music, Dead Man Walking and The Marriage of Figaro. The latter three will be presented in full by Central City Opera during the 2014 Festival.

CCO Studio Artist Siena Forest gets her time in the spotlight
Not only do these give the young artists an opportunity to hone their skills, but it also allows aspiring directors a chance to perfect their art form as well. The scenes are directed by 2013 Festival Assistant Directors Corinne Hayes (Our Town,) Stephanie Havey (The Barber of Seville,) and Kyle Lang (Show Boat). Lang says that directing Short Works gives him a chance to “try different approaches, being that a scene may not necessarily need to be in the context of the full opera.” He also went on to say that “It’s such a great opportunity to work with young artists and to learn how people may take direction differently. The process that may be needed for one person may not be what is best for another.” So it is the creative team that gets personal and professional growth out of Short Works in addition to just the artists.                                                                 

Patrons enjoy an afternoon Short Works performance inside of Williams Stables

From the young artists’ perspective, Short Works is their opportunity to practice performing in front of an audience and to learn about and engage in a variety of diverse operas and musicals. While most young artists have roles in the feature productions either in the chorus or as a side role, Short Works puts them front and center and raises them to be the stars of that afternoon’s performance.

The next Short Works will be presented at Williams Stables tomorrow at 1:15 p.m. prior to the matinee performance, and at the same time on the additional dates of July 24th, 27th, and 28th. Tickets can be purchased in advance or day-of-show for the price of $12 or $8 for subscribers. These are a great way to whet your appetite before a matinee performance in the Opera House and to see future opera stars in a casual and intimate setting.


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