by Jenn Bradford
Founded in 2012, the Boulder Opera Company is celebrating its 12th season this year. Dianela Acosta, an opera singer herself, founded the organization which performs opera productions—including family friendly, abridged productions—to make opera accessible to everyone and to develop a new generation of opera lovers.
The company’s focus this season is on modern North American operas with operas written by American composers in the 20th and 21st centuries. Many of the story lines are about our modern society, and audiences may see aspects of their own lives portrayed in the performances.
Last Fall’s family friendly series featured Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The production gave young singers an opportunity to develop their craft and perform as well as allowed families with young children the opportunity to attend the opera. The performances are shorter and more casual to make “it accessible for families who might feel that the kids won’t sit through [it]. But we actually encourage them to come. We expect that there’s going to be background noise going on throughout the performance and we welcome that,” explains Dianela. The next family friendly series will be announced soon.
Other ways the Boulder Opera Company gets younger generations involved is through outreach to schools and libraries. The Company offers opera story times, field trips for school-aged children, and can even bring a production to the schools. From February to May 2024, local schools can bring a new, fully staged, bilingual opera to their students. Xochitl and the Flowers is the story of an immigrant family from El Salvador who move to California. “[Boulder Opera Company] will bring the whole show. The whole package comes with class presentations, and we can also work with the art teachers to create some of the props of the opera,” says Dianela. Past school performances have been one hour in length with a question-and-answer session following the performance.
The Boulder Opera’s upcoming performances include Operatizers on April 20 and April 21. These are short 10–20 minute stories, which will give you “tastes of opera”. This summer, Boulder Opera Company plans to again hold Opera in the Park which, Dianela says is, “a great event, it’s very affordable. People love it because it’s outdoors and there will be food trucks and there is a beer garden as well.”
There are many ways Boulder Opera Company encourages our community to engage with opera. If you would like to become more involved, attend a performance, volunteer your expertise on the Board of Directors, become a corporate sponsor, or make a donation – learn more at boulderoperacompany.com.