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.