Opera Running Through Us


Program Postponed December 7, 2015 / New Date TBA

Opera Running Through Us

December 7, 2015, 6:30 pm

Join Hal France and his very talented young guests from the UNL and UNO opera programs who will perform while Hal France shares some common and some uncommon knowledge about the ways opera surrounds our culture.

Baritone, Jesse Wohlman and Mezzo Soprano, Patty Cramer from the UNL Opera Theater and singers from the UNO OpShop will offer popular opera arias.

Opera is music and the human voice serving stories theatrically in the most sophisticated and complete way possible. It gushes from the creativity of some of the most brilliant minds in history and pours through the extraordinary voices, bodies, minds and spirits of the most gifted singers. It emanates from imaginations directors and designers who explore our changing world. Opera flows like a river carrying humanity.

Opera's stories spring from human experience! Operatic form carry these stories through a fascinating and complex maze of psychology, characters, relationships, popular culture and diverse communities.

There are still many cultures and people on earth that have not received operatic treatment. Will we get to learn more about our magnificent diverse planet through opera?

I expect we will. In the meantime, join us for a fun and enlightening evening of opera.

Opera Running Through Us

Admission $35 

Students $5

Series of Four $120

When: Monday, December 7, 2015 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Where: The Omaha Conservatory of Music, 3504 S. 108th Street, Omaha, NE

For more information contact hal@halfrance.com





The World Erupts and Music Reacts 1911 – 1920


The World Erupts and Music Reacts 1911 – 1920

November 2, 2015

Join Hal France and his very special guest Soprano, Karina Brazas on Monday evening, November 2 at 6:30 pm as they preview their upcoming Vesper Concerts performance on As Their Shadows Passed: Music From the Time of WW1/ November 8/ 3:00 pm.  The two hour program explores an explosive decade in musical history, 1911 – 1920.

During the first hour of the evening we will examine the links between the seismic shifts in world order that exploded in World War One and extraordinary developments in music. We will listen to musical examples of the modern including Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Bartok and the romantic with Mahler, Rachmaninoff and more as they meet.

Karina and Hal will delve into songs that connect to the experiences of war, hope and change by an international group of composers and poets. As the reality of war effected so many, the art of song offered a unique glimpse into human life struggling to regain equilibrium, balance and sanity.

Ms. Brazas recital will bring together a wide range of styles from art songs like In Flanders Fields by American Arthur Foote and Soupir by Frenchmen Maurice Ravel to music hall favorites like If I Were The Only Girl In The World and Over There. Songs by the Austrian Josef Marx, Englishmen Ivor Gurney, Frenchman Claude Debussy, Russian Sergei Rachmaninoff touch the heart strings and give a sense of a changing and unstable world.

The World Erupts and Music Reacts 1911 – 1920 is the first program of a series of four offered by Hal France and Friends in partnership with the Omaha Conservatory of Music.

Admission for the single program is $35.

The Series 4 the Love of Music is $120.

When: November 2, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Where: Omaha Conservatory of Music, 3205 S. 108th Street in Omaha, Nebraska.

HAL FRANCE FLYER for The World Erupts 102415 A (1)


4 the Love of Music

Hal France and Friends and the Omaha Conservatory of Music present


Join host Hal France and his special guests for evenings of live performance, interviews, discussion and informative presentation



Most agree that music is among our world’s greatest gifts. Its kaleidoscope of tone, color and expression heal, identify, lift and unite us. Music lives as we experience it and shapes our memories. It evokes vistas of the mind and songs of the heart.

Host Hal France explores music and those who masterfully wield its power in a series of 4 programs. Offered in partnership with the Omaha Conservatory of Music these programs are created for music lovers of all ages and experience levels. Each program presents a theme delving into the creativity through listening and viewing of outstanding performances. Each program welcomes a special guest sharing insight and performing live.

The series begins in 2015 at the Omaha Conservatory of Music located at 3504 S. 108th Street, Omaha. In 2016 the series moves to OCM’s new home at 7023 Cass Street, Omaha.

Subscription Information

Series Subscription: $120

Individual Programs: $35/ No registration required

Student Admission: $5 per program/ No registration required

Register for Series

For more information call Hal France at 402 490 2005 or e mail hal@halfrance.com

The Programs

November 2, 2015 / The World Erupts & Music Reacts 1911 – 1920

with Soprano, Karina Brazas     Learn More

December 7, 2015 / Opera Running Through Us

with Outstanding Young Singers from the UNL and UNO Opera Programs

UNL/Jesse Wohlman, baritone/Patty Cramer, mezzo soprano

UNO/ Performers TBA  Learn More

March 14, 2016 / Classical Music Goes To The Movies

Special Guest TBA

April 11, 2016/ Variations and Virtuosity 

with violinist, Susanna Perry Gilmore, Concertmaster, Omaha Symphony

4 Love of Music Series 2015

Register For the Love of It at Denenbergs

A Series on Opera

Spring 2014
Programs on Monday Afternoon
1:00 – 2:30 pm

April 21 – Ultimate Expression
May 5 – Going Broadway
June 9 – Nothing Like The Present: What’s New?

Individual Programs $30

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    To complete registration, Mail check to: Hal France, 5612 William St. Omaha, NE 68106 Or bring payment to program at Joslyn Castle.

Opera Omaha Cinderella

Hal France previews Rossini’s opera and Opera Omaha’s production of Cinderella.

April 22 – First National Bank, 16th and Dodge, 12 -1 pm

April 25 – Orpheum Theatre, 6:45 -7:15 pm

April 27 – Orpheum Theatre, 1:15 – 1:45 pm

33 Variations By Moises Kaufman

May 6  – June 8, 2019

A mother coming to terms with her daughter. A composer coming to terms with his genius. Drama, memory, and music combine to transport you from present-day New York to 19th century Austria. In this extraordinary new American play about passion, parenthood and the moments of beauty that can transform a life. 33 Variations is an elegant waltz between past and present, fact and speculation, a mother and daughter, art and life.


For the Love of It at Joslyn Castle


Joslyn Castle Series
Spring 2014

A series that asks “what is there to love in opera?”  Five programs consider in turn opera’s expressivity, popularity, dark side, stars and future. Each session interweaves audio and video samplings with insights and “opera reactions” guided by Hal France. The spring series convenes in the elegant music room at Omaha’s landmark Joslyn Castle and also includes live performance by outstanding singers. For the Love of It presents in concept and in sound highlights for opera lovers and opera curious alike.

General Public: Series Admission: $125/Separate Program Admission: $30
Students: Series Admission: $20/Separate Program Admission: $5

All programs at 6:30 – 8:30 pm and are held at Joslyn Castle. Free and convenient parking availability.

Program’s Described

Ultimate Expression – April 9
with Shelby VanNorstrand, soprano and Drew Duncan, tenor

Why ultimate? What form do opera take at its ultimate moments? With selected examples we explore how operatic expression creates the Ultimate. We focus on the messengers of expression and how emotions flow through the music. Join us for the voices, the orchestras, the dramatists and visionaries and the combinations of these forces that create opera’s ultimate expression.

Going Broadway – May 14
with Shelby VanNorstrand, soprano

Reinvention and innovation are essential to opera’s evolutionary path.
Whether Venice in the 1600’s or Paris in the 1800’s opera’s most prolific eras balanced artistic vision and public interest.
Broadway’s golden  had it’s own combustion where creativity and art met commercial purpose and public demand. It was natural to ask, how far the American Musical could move towards its opera roots. From Gershwin and Kern to Weill, Menotti and Bernstein, we will explore such questions with Going Broadway.

It’s Good To Be Bad – May 21

Without it’s Antagonists and Villains opera would lose much of its dimension and its luster. For in its darkest characters opera spans and scans the conflict inherent in living dramas. The Twisted, the Risqué, the “Other-worldly”, the Mischievous, the Devious and the Demonic together add a great deal of spice to the mix. Many a fine dramatic vocalist has found the challenge of playing “Bad” particularly fulfilling. Hence our title “ It’s Good To Be Bad”. Without the Bad Boys and Bad Girls of opera a talented singer would never receive his or her chance to shine.

Divas, Divos and Maestros – May 28

The Voices whether chronicled in writing or captured on celluloid are what many find most memorable in opera. Historic and legendary stars as well as the current performers will be our focus. What do they possess that endures and captivates us will be a primary question. And what of the impact of the organizers, leaders and impressarios whether in the front office, backstage or orchestra pit? Join us for a few tales from opera and some stunning voices in Divas, Divos and Maestros.

Nothing Like The Present: What’s New! – June 11
With Amanda DeBoer, soprano

Composition of and commissions for new opera continues worldwide.  Skilled and talented composers drawn to the unique balance and blend of opera remain focused on the challenges of the future. Opera companies remain committed to developing what’s next for the art form. We will investigate new work, today’s outstanding creators of opera and their successes.