Utah Opera Visits Castle Country and Delights All *Photo Gallery*


By Traci Bishop

The Utah Opera recently spent some time in the Castle Country area and a performance at the Rio Theater in Helper finalized their visit in a big way. However, they spent many days first visiting local elementary schools, conducting performances and playing hearty renditions if “So You Want to Be an Opera Star?”

When asked about The Utah Opera’s visit to the area, specifically Helper City, Mayor Lenise Peterman was willing and ready with a hearty statement:

“Helper City was fortunate to play host to the Utah Opera Resident Artists April 8 through April 12” she said. “This is an educational outreach program the opera conducts and they strive to visit every school in Utah once every three years. The Resident Artists included the following: Grace Kahl, a soprano often praised for crystalline voice; Melanie Ashkara, a mezzo-soprano known for the rich texture of her voice; Addison Marlor, the sweet-toned tenor; Jesus Murillo, a Detroit native bass-baritone; and Robert Bosworth performing as the resident pianist. This group of amazingly talented artists traveled to elementary, middle and local area high schools to introduce our youth to art of opera. With programs designed specifically for the age groups they were presenting to, such as a game show format of ‘So You Want to Be an Opera Star,’ which actively engaged the kids in learning about opera while having fun. Evenings were spent with community residents at dinners in a focused effort to connect the artists with Helper and its rich history.”

Mayor Peterman continued her statement by briefly speaking about the way that the opera strives to include younger generations into the world of opera and symphony music.

“This engagement is the start of a strategic partnership of introducing the opera and symphony to local area youth that they may not otherwise have an opportunity to experience. Paula Fowler, the Director of Education & Community Outreach, is simply amazing to work with and I look forward to the next innovative event we can gift to the community! The artists were simply delightful, engaged and wonderful to be around along with David Green, the Chief Operating Officer, who presented to local area community leaders prior to the performance.”

Thursday’s night performance kicked off with Frank Magliocco, who is a Helper resident as well as a Julliard graduate who knew Leonard Bernstein. Magliocco played the piano and concluded with a standing ovation for the opera artists.

“It was truly a magical night with the resident artists sharing not only their gift of song, but their hearts with us as well,” Mayor Peterman concluded.

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