General Director’s note:
Planning for our 67th season is well underway. As you can see in Tom Cockrell’s letter, most of the musical and production staff is already committed to return. We are still searching for some positions, but I am confident that Tom will once again assemble a strong team. On the campus staff, our beloved workampers Karen and John Anderson will not be able to return as John has been having some medical issues. We wish him a speedy recovery – he’s hoping to get some new parts installed and get a general tune-up. With any luck, we will be welcoming him back in 2018. His campus knowledge and can-do attitude will be greatly missed, so if you know of someone with strong handyman skills, please let me know.
Our Crystal Bridges performance is set for June 11, with a similar format as last season: singers in four galleries and performances alternating every 30 minutes from 1 to 4 pm. Admission to Crystal Bridges is always free, so if you are local or can be in the area, mark that date on your calendar! I am also booking the studio show Jack and the Beanstalk at libraries and other venues and will soon be lining up the pre-season outreach performances. Watch for announcements of the venues.
I am eager to see the new building and the renovated men’s dorm when I arrive on campus in May. We will need lots of help in moving furniture around, so once again, I am asking for help from our local supporters and the fabulous Eureka Springs Opera Guild. We also hope to continue the costume inventory project. We got a great start on that last season. Once we know what we have, we can generate additional income from costume rentals – we have already had a few requests. Finally, our new, more mobile-friendly website is almost ready to launch.
So much going on and with your help, more to come!
Congratulations to OIO Director of Production and Lighting Designer Richard Dunham on being inducted this morning as a USITT Fellow at the 2017 annual conference! This is a tremendous professional honor. Bravo, Rich!!
Rich Dunham is the epitome of the USITT member who deserves recognition for professional accomplishments and active, ongoing contributions to the work of the Institute.
His leadership of the Grants & Fellowships Committee has resulted in expansion of opportunities to serve our members. Rich’s work as Chair of the triennial Art Auction has resulted in additional revenue to support Grants & Fellowships.
He is a superb leader able to organize important projects, and his work produces consistent results. He is recognized as a gifted lighting designer, professor, and head of design at the University of Georgia and author of a significant text and reference book, Stage Lighting: Fundamentals and Applications.
He has had a number of articles in TD&T, is an active contributor to USITT publications in a variety of ways, and is a recognized national judge for student awards. His professional accomplishments include on-going lighting design for a variety of regional theatre and opera companies.
WHAT: The First Annual OIO organized Alumni Gathering.
“Everyone has heard the old saying, ‘every journey begins with a single step,’ and nowhere is it truer than in a professional opera career. Opera in the Ozarks was my first step in that career. It was there that I learned how to perform under pressure. I had already performed opera on the University level, but Opera in the Ozarks was the place where I could sing in the native tongue and in a repertory situation where I was singing and working every night. This was invaluable to me professionally. To know if one can do something, the safest way to find out is to do it.”
The invaluable education and musical experience I received from Inspiration Point continues to help me even today as I sing at the world’s great opera houses.
– Chris Merritt, Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera
After a successful audition season last semester, that resulted in multiple offers, I’m going to be in the Bonfils-Stanton Young Artist Program at Central City Opera this summer! In my audition, they heard three pieces…all of which I sang in MasterClasses at OIO and they went smashingly! They also talked to me about my time at OIO, and asked me how I grew as an artist. I told them mostly how I grew through Penzance and Butterfly, and I wouldn’t have gotten that chance to grow if it weren’t for you (OiO)! I feel so privileged to have been in those shows… THANK YOU! It really is an amazing place…and I don’t think we quite realize our artistic growth until we’ve ended at OIO, and are back to our very different realities.
– Bille Bruley