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Home | Tag Archives: el paso opera

Tag Archives: el paso opera

Video+Story: El Paso Opera rolls out Curbside Opera

With concerts and musical performances sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the El Paso Opera decided to hit the road and bring the music to their fans.

“Right now it is disappointing to not be able to gather and enjoy live performances,” El Paso Opera officials said. “We share your disappointment and has been determined to find a way to keep performing while following all health and safety guidelines…introducing Curbside Opera.”

The innovative Curbside Opera features El Paso Opera performers providing free, curbside performances for the enjoyment of residents across the area. 

Opera officials share that Curbside Opera kicked off last week and received a warm welcome from those we surprised with their personal curbside opera concert.

“We had a wonderful day surprising members of our extended El Paso Opera family,” officials said. “It was great to see everyone and be entertained as Mariana Sandoval brought some beautiful arias to life–curbside and from the back of our truck…while maintaining proper social distancing, of course.”

As the program is just underway, future announcements about pop up performances around town featuring El Paso Opera Resident Artists and other local vocal performers will be shared via the company’s El Paso Opera Facebook Page and El Paso Opera Instagram page.

Additionally personal Curbside Opera concerts may also be arranged for a modest suggested donation. For more information, contact El Paso Opera at 581-5534 or

Clip courtesy El Paso Opera

El Paso Opera to kick off new year with Pagliacci

One of opera’s most treasured works, Pagliacci is a frighteningly timeless tale of passion, jealousy and revenge.

Canio is a clown who must entertain the townspeople while masking his tears and rage after learning that his wife Nedda has betrayed him with another man.  This Italian masterpiece by Ruggero Leoncavallo contains one of the most famous tenor arias in history and culminates in a play-within-a-play clown performance that cleverly depicts life imitating art imitating life at its most violent.

El Paso Opera will present this love triangle tragedy in El Paso’s newest venue, St. Rogers Depot, an iconic downtown space gorgeously renovated for special events.

“Our audiences will share the intimate space with the performers, chorus and chamber orchestra for an up-close experience unlike any other,” El Paso Opera officials shared.

All tickets $39 and includes a sweet treat during intermission, the show runs 95 minutes including intermission

Chamber orchestra led by El Paso Opera Music Director, Kathleen Kelly; Stage Direction by El Paso Opera Artistic Director Justin Lucero  CAST (In order of vocal appearance)

TONIO………Levi Hernandez

CANIO……….Corey Bix

PEPPE ………Brian Downen

NEDDA…….. Amber Monroe

SILVIO……….Antonio Cruz


WHO: El Paso Opera Pagliacci

WHERE: St. Rogers Depot, 420 N. Campbell

WHEN: January 10 & 11, 2020, 7:30pm

El Paso Opera announces 2019-2020 Resident Artists, free performances

As part of their new community outreach program, El Paso Opera officials unveiled their new ‘First Fridays series.’

According to El Paso Opera officials, First Fridays will be free performances on the first Friday of every month with a different location each month.

“With this monthly First Fridays series, El Paso Opera will provide free performances throughout El Paso for the community to enjoy,”  Arianne Marcee, El Paso Opera’s Executive Director shared.

“Opera is a beautiful artform which should be enjoyed by everyone regardless of age, demographic and financial circumstance.  Providing free performances allows us to ensure enjoyment by the masses.”

The First Fridays performances will be headlined by the Opera’s new Resident Artists.

“We are thrilled to welcome these talented singers into the El Paso Opera family and have them represent us around town,” Marcee added.

In addition, Resident Artists will be joined by El Paso Opera’s Resident Pianist, Guillermo de la Garza.

The 2019-2020 Resident Artists are:

-Amy Ramspoth, soprano.⁣
-Emilie Merritt, mezzo soprano.⁣
-Heather Dials, soprano.⁣
-Sarah Neely, soprano.⁣
-Holly Mesarch, soprano.⁣
-Taylor Trolia-Giron, soprano.⁣
-Emilie Merritt, mezzo-soprano.⁣

To see the schedule of El Paso Opera free performances, visit their website or Facebook page.

El Paso Opera announces lineup for 2019-2020 Season

On Thursday, the El Paso Opera announced the lineup for its 26th Season of performances, set to take the stage starting September 13, with the annual gala fundraiser Encores & Overtures.

Opera officials share that this year’s Encores & Overtures: A Superstitous Soirée will feature performances headlined by Kellie Rumba Rattay and featuring circus performance troupe Odd-Lab.

The 2019-2020 season will feature two performances, continuing our recent tradition of one traditional and one contemporary offering. January 10 and 11, 2020 will feature Pagliacci, the treasured opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo. This Italian masterpiece is a frighteningly timeless tale of passion, jealousy and revenge and contains one of the most famous tenor arias in history.

For this love triangle tragedy, El Paso Opera will present it in El Paso’s newest venue, St. Rogers Depot. Audiences will share the intimate space with the performers, chorus and chamber orchestra for an up-close experience unlike any other.

Next, on March 28 our audiences will be delighted by Bon Appétit! A deliciously funny opera collection starring Cherry Duke as Julia Child, Bon Appétit! promises to be a delectable evening of culinary comedy.

Presented at the Plaza’s Philanthropy Theatre, the food-filled fun rounds out with a set of songs. In addition, we will expand our reach this season by bringing Bon Appétit! to Las Cruces’ Rio Grande Theatre on Sunday March 29.

In addition to the shows, the El Paso Opera’s family is growing in Season 26.

Kathleen Kelly will be the Opera’s Musical Director for our 2019-2020 season. In addition, Cherry Duke has joined as El Paso Opera’s Artistic Associate.

“We are thrilled to welcome these ladies to the El Paso Opera family and proud to have such a talented team,” officials said, “El Paso Opera has lots in store for this 2019-2020 season! We look forward to seeing you at the opera.”

For all information on shows, times and tickets, click here to visit their webpage or here for their Facebook page.

El Paso Opera President Honored With National Award

El Paso Opera’s Board of Trustees President, Stacey Hunt Spier, has been recognized nationally by OPERA America.

Ms. Hunt Spier has been chosen as a recipient of the 2019 National Opera Trustee Recognition Awards for her work on behalf of El Paso Opera. These awards honor outstanding trustees of U.S. opera companies for their exemplary leadership, generosity and audience-building efforts on behalf of their respective organizations.

Ms. Hunt Spier has been a member of El Paso Opera Board of Trustees for seven years and became President in August of 2017.

Under her guidance and dedication, El Paso Opera ushered in its 25th Anniversary Season and underwent a complete rebranding effort in order to position itself for future success.  She has been instrumental in shaping the current expanded Board of Trustees and was an obvious choice for nomination of this award.

Stacey Hunt Spier is a community advocate and volunteer, and she serves the Hunt Family Foundation as a representative to community funders.

Mrs. Hunt Spier graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Science in biology and also earned a Master of Occupational Therapy from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. She practiced as an occupational therapist for 10 years, working in both San Francisco and El Paso, and specializing in patient care for adults with brain injuries.

In addition to her duties at the Hunt Family Foundation, Mrs. Hunt Spier gives countless hours of her time to causes close to her heart. For over 15 years, she has played an active role in several civic, charitable and educational organizations, such as Amor Por Juarez, the Junior League of El Paso, the Lydia Patterson Institute and the St. Clements School Parent Council. She has also served as a board member and gala chairman for Kids Excel.

Mrs. Hunt Spier currently serves as the president of the board of directors for El Paso Opera and is a member of the board of directors of the El Paso Art Museum Foundation, the Paso Del Norte Charitable Foundation and El Paso Children’s Development Center, where she served for two terms as chairman of the board.

El Paso Opera will soon present Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, the world’s first mariachi opera on April 5 and 6 at the Abraham Chavez Theatre.

For more information on OPERA America, please visit their website ,or more information on El Paso Opera and Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, please visit the El Paso Opera website.

OPERA America will pay tribute to Stacey Hunt Spier and the other honorees and celebrate their remarkable achievements at a dinner and reception later this month.

El Paso Opera Names Arianne Pasqualone Marcee as New Executive Director.

Thursday morning, officials with the El Paso Opera announced Arianne Pasqualone Marcee as their new Executive Director.

Originally from northeastern Ohio, Arianne moved here as a child. She chose to return to El Paso after her undergraduate work at Texas A&M University and contribute to the city’s brain gain as she recognized everything El Paso has to offer.

“I love El Paso and am excited to be working in an area that directly contributes to the city’s overall worth. Promoting the arts is vital to a city’s culture, tourism and ability to recruit. El Paso has so much to offer and El Paso Opera is an essential part of the arts in our community.”

Ms. Marcee holds an MBA with a focus in Leadership and Social Media Marketing from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, a BBA in Management from Texas A&M University and an Alternative Certification in Special Education from UTEP.

Her background includes education, sales and non-profit administration where her expertise was in marketing and public relations. Arianne is joined by new President of the Board of Trustees, Stacey Hunt Spier.

El Paso Opera recently completed their 23rd season with a well-received rendition of Rossini’s Cinderella.

The opera productions, along with the Young Artist Program, fulfill El Paso Opera’s mission of bringing professional opera productions that are understandable, accessible, and enjoyable to all the residents of El Paso, Texas and the surrounding communities; and to sponsor educational programs that will introduce both youth and adult populations to the world of great vocal music.

As small opera companies close around the country, El Paso Opera has continued to provide quality opera productions continuously since 1993. This could not have been done without tremendous community support from El Paso, our close neighbors of Las Cruces, NM and Juarez, Mexico as well as our large military population.

For more information, please visit the El Paso Opera website or call 915-581-5534.

El Paso Opera Presents: ‘Tis the Season for Opera Holiday Concert

On Saturday, December 3, 2016, the El Paso Opera will present holiday themed arias and well-known holiday songs at the Plaza Theater at 8pm.

This concert will feature out of town artists Susanne Sheston (music director and pianist), Joshua Dennis (tenor), and Benjamin Sieverding (bass). Local artists featured in this concert include Cherry Duke (mezzo-soprano), Kellie Rumba Rattay (soprano), Mariana Sandoval (mezzo-soprano), Jamille Brewster (soprano), Adrian Salas (baritone), and thirty-one singers from the El Paso Youth Opera.

 “El Pasoans will have lots of holiday celebrations to experience in downtown El Paso on December 3rd, and we invite everyone to finish up the evening with our classical holiday concert at the Plaza Theatre. Our holiday concert is a family friendly opera concert and is a great way to hear both Classical music and Holiday music that everyone will recognize,” said El Paso Opera Executive Director, Chelsea Lamego.

Prior to the concert, El Pasoans are invited to enjoy free carols at 7:30 by the El Paso Opera Young Artist’s in San Jacinto Plaza following the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Downtown Holiday Parade.

The Winterfest Ice Skating rink will also be kicked off on Saturday, December 3rd in Arts Festival Plaza.

Sheston has collaborated with many of the world’s leading operatic and symphonic conductors. Sheston has served as Chorus Master at The Santa Fe Opera since 2008, where her choruses have received numerous accolades from national and international publications.

Sieverding has performed in productions with Opera Philadelphia, Opera Colorado, and The Santa Fe Opera, and is a three-time regional finalist of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions. Dennis has performed for Seattle Opera, Kentucky Opera, Houston Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, Opera Columbus, Opera Idaho, Dallas Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre.

Duke currently serves on the voice faculty and as Director of Opera at the University of Texas at El Paso. This season she makes her company and role debut with El Paso Opera in Rossini’s La Cenerentola as Tisbe in March 2017.

Rattay, the wife of El Paso Symphony Conductor Bohuslav Rattay, was in El Paso’s Opera’s production Carmen as Frasquita last March. She has received her training from Cleveland Institute of Music and has attended training programs in Italy, San Francisco, and Madrid.

Brewster, Sandoval, and Salas are current participants in the El Paso Opera Young Artist Program which provides specialized training and performance opportunities to a few select participants each year.

Tickets range from $15 to $70 and can be purchased by calling El Paso Opera at 915-490-4764, visiting, or through all Ticketmaster outlets. Student, Senior, and Military discounts available. Ages 7+.

El Paso Opera Hires David Holloway as New Artistic Director

The El Paso Opera announced this week that David Holloway has joined the company as artistic director through Season 25.  Holloway was the artistic director for EPO’s last production ‘Tis the Season. He will finish out Season 22 with one of Opera’s most well-known masterpieces,Carmen by Georges Bizet, this March.

Since 2005, he has been Director of the Santa Fe Opera’s apprentice program.

“Working for the El Paso Opera is a different role for me, and I find it exciting,” Holloway said. “I would like to help El Paso Opera to be a beacon to other companies […] I have had the privilege of working with the finest young artists in the country for the Santa Fe Opera and I hope to bring those singers, that experience, and scope of work to El Paso!”

EPO’s new Executive Director, Chelsea Lamego, feels positive about the transition. “It’s great that we can count on someone of his caliber to run the artistic end of the company for another three seasons,” she said. “With David’s expertise comes new contacts, new operas, and a new artistic take on the whole organization!”

Lamego believes that Holloway is just what we need to keep Opera in El Paso alive—and if experience alone is any indication of this, El Pasoans need not worry. President of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Robert Gonzalez, believes this is a positive move forward for the company.

“Holloway brings years of experience singing on stage with the greatest performers and directing the most talented in the nation. His enthusiasm for joining El Paso’s art scene should make us proud. He is planning master classes with UTEP students, and the art’s community has fully embraced him.”

Prior to his work in Santa Fe, Holloway was Head of Voice at Chicago College of Performing Arts for eleven years, sang seven seasons with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, and was the leading baritone at the Deautsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf for ten years. Carmen is a special performance for him, he sang the Toreador in two seasons at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival.

Carmen will take place on March 17th and 19th 2016 at 7:30 pm in the Abraham Chavez Center.  Tickets are available for purchase online via Ticketmaster or by phone at 915-581-5534.

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