A&E News July 7th 2004 


The world premiere production of Nosferatu (Dracula) by composer Alva Henderson and librettist Dana Gioia will open Opera Idaho's 2004-2005 season on November 6, 2004. Their second production will be one of the most loved operas of all time, Carmen by Georges Bizet, to be performed on Saturday, February 26, 2005. Both performances will be accompanied by the Boise Philharmonic and will take place at the Morrison Center.

Nosferatu(Dracula) is an opera based on the 1922 silent film by F.W. Murnau. Described as a neo-romantic and melodic opera, Nosferatu begins in the Baltic with Eric Hutter, a young man desperate for work who must travel to Hungary to sell a property to Count Orlock, revealed later as Nosferatu ("the undead"). His wife, the fragile Ellen, is in delicate health, but it is she who becomes the heroine of the story, ultimately sacrificing her life in order to kill Nosferatu.

In this collaborative production with Rimrock Opera in Billings, Montana, famed opera star Susan Gundunas performs as Ellen in a role written specifically for her by American composer Alva Henderson. Opera Idaho's Artistic Director Douglas Nagel takes on the title role of Nosferatu (Count Orlock) and the librettist for the production is the famed poet Dana Gioia, who is also the current Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. The production will be directed by Charles Maryan and conducted by Barbara Day Turner.

The steamy heat of southern Spain and the sensuous music of Georges Bizet entwine in the world famous Carmen. On the dusty streets of Seville, seductress Carmen goes about in a red dress with a dance no man could resist, and the handsome, upstanding Don Jose becomes the lovestruck young corporal. But Don Jose's world ignites in flames when Carmen's attention shifts to the flamboyant bullfighter Escamillo and passion turns to murder. Artistic Director of Nevada Opera, Michael Borowitz, will conduct and Opera Idaho Artistic Director Douglas Nagel will direct.

Season tickets are now on sale and individual tickets ($22-64) go on sale July 15. Call the Opera Idaho offices at 345-3531 ext. 12 or visit www.operaidaho.org.

Poetry in Motion Deadline

Time is running out to submit your 12 lines or fewer of poetry to potentially be plastered inside a Boise bus for all to see. The deadline for Poetry in Motion, a collaboration between Boise City Arts Commission, ValleyRide, Log Cabin Literary Center, and Poetry Society of America is Friday, July 16. Four winning poets will receive $150 each, a one-year membership to Poetry Society of America, and have their winning poems printed on posters displayed on ValleyRide buses. Alice Quinn, poetry editor of the prestigious magazine The New Yorker, will select the winners.

The exhibit will feature poems written by the four winning Idaho poets, as well as poetry used in other Poetry In Motion® projects sponsored by the Poetry Society of America in Chicago, Portland, New York and Boston. All selected poems will have artwork designed by local graphic designer Mike Landa. Posters will be displayed in 2004 and 2005 and will also be sold by Boise City Arts Commission to support its Art in Transit program.

The contest is divided into two categories: child (under 14 years of age) and adult (over 14 years of age). Three poems from the adult category and one from the child category will be selected as winners. Eight local semifinalists will read their selected poems at a public event at the Log Cabin Literary Center in the fall of 2004. Hurry up and visit http://logcablit.org/poetryinmotion.htm for details and a required entry form. All entries are free.


Two works in the current show by local artist Dustin Batt at Thomas Hammer Coffee downtown were stolen last week. Store manager Kevin Kelpe believes the two originals disappeared last Wednesday night, July 7, between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. He suspects it may have been an "inside job." Kelpe is distressed and angry about the theft saying that heisting original art is like "stealing somebody's heart and soul and sweat."

Thomas Hammer Coffee has been hanging local, original art on its walls for about eight months now. Batt's First Thursday opening this month was very successful and his oil pastels on paper have been well received. The price tags on the two stolen original works complete with original framing were $300 and $250.

Kelpe says that Batt, who is a barley farmer and "really cool guy" hasn't been making art for all that long (though he did secure the BW cover on April 7), so if anyone sees an original Dustin Batt work hanging on a friend's wall, they should wonder where it came from. Kelpe asks that anyone who may know more about the theft call the downtown Thomas Hammer store at 342-3791.

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