Dominique Moralez, left, portrays Nemorino and Keri Rusthoi plays Adina during a rehearsal for "The Elixir of Love," an opera set in the American West during the 1900s. Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 and 15 at the Julie Harris Theatre on the Perry-Mansfield campus. Tickets are $45 for general admission.

Dominique Moralez, left, portrays Nemorino and Keri Rusthoi plays Adina during a rehearsal for "The Elixir of Love," an opera set in the American West during the 1900s. Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 and 15 at the Julie Harris Theatre on the Perry-Mansfield campus. Tickets are $45 for general admission. Photo by John F. Russell. |

Opera offers Western-style comedy

Emerald City Opera's 'The Elixir of Love' opens at 7 p.m. Saturday

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If you go

What: Gaetano Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love," presented by Emerald City Opera

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 and 15

Where: Julie Harris Theatre, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, 40755 Routt County Road 36

Cost: $45 general admission, $22 for students with a valid ID; $120 "diva gala" tickets for the Aug. 15 performance include reserved seating and receptions before the performance and during intermission

Call: 879-1996

— Every year, Emerald City Opera founder and artistic director Keri Rusthoi asserts that year's production is the best the company has ever done.

She believes the same for upcoming productions of Gaetano Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love." With an accomplished faculty and a chorus bulked up by a program for aspiring career opera singers, Rusthoi hopes the operatic comedy will provide ample entertainment.

"I know some people are scared of opera and they think, 'I'm not going to get it,'" said company member Bjorn Olsson. But the production is in English, it's funny, and it has great music, he said.

"It's really not that complicated, just come and have a good time," he said. Olsson appeared in Steamboat productions of "The Magic Flute" and "The Merry Widow." In "The Elixir of Love," he plays Belcore, a comically overbearing sergeant who attempts to steal a rich village woman's heart.

The opera opens with a peasant named Nemorino, played by Dominique Moralez, who is in love with Adina, a wealthy woman in his village. To keep Adina, played by Rusthoi, from falling for Belcore, he buys a magic potion from a vendor named Dulcamara, played by Derrick Ballard. Dulcamara sells Nemorino wine disguised as love potion, and comedy ensues.

Mimi Hill, a local who has designed costumes for the Emerald City's Touring Opera Troupe and the Steamboat Ballet School of Dance, helped orchestrate the Western, early-1900s setting of the show. Locally, she looked for costumes at the LIFT-UP Thrift Store, Steamboat Christian Center and F.M. Light & Sons, Hill said.

Performances of "The Elixir of Love" start at 7 p.m. Saturday in Julie Harris Theatre at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp. Tickets are $45 for the general public and $22 for students with a valid ID. "Diva Gala" tickets for the Aug. 15 performance, which include reserved seating and receptions before the show and during intermission, are $120.

Members of the company's Opera Institute for Emerging Singers - a four-week program focusing on performance and professionalism - will perform "The Elixir of Love" in Saratoga, Wyo., Walden and Craig starting Friday; ticket prices and times vary. The student singers perform a concert of arias and opera scenes at 7 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Bud Werner Memorial Library performance hall. Tickets for that performance are $17 cash at the door.

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