PIONEERS AND PATRIOTS PAYS TRIBUTE TO JOHN PHILIP SOUSA CONCERT 87 YEARS AGO |
By Jennie Christensen, Cache Valley Daily
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014
Each year around the July 24th Pioneer Day holiday the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre presents a special Pioneers and Patriots concert. Founder and general director Michael Ballam says this year the concert will pay tribute to John Philip Sousa who came to Logan to perform in 1927.
On a recent KVNU Crosstalk program, Ballam said it will be one of the most exciting evenings we've had since Sousa played on the stage of the Capitol Theatre.
"It's now the Eccles Theatre and we are recreating that night," Ballam said. "It is going to be amazing."
Ballam said that Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre will be getting some help from Utah State University to recreate the magic of that evening 87 years ago.
"Michael Bankhead, the head of the USU Music Department who has had an amazing career with the Armed Forces music, is going to be Mr. Sousa. We found the program, quite by accident."
Ballam said the program was found in some old storage bins. He said the tribute to John Philip Sousa begins Tuesday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Eccles Theatre. It will include a 42-piece band with choir, soloists and surprises.
Thank you for joining us for our 22nd season! This year, Utah Festival is presenting my four favorite works in the genres of American Opera, Operetta and Musical Theatre. You are about to see some of the most extraordinary performers we have ever presented.
We are fast approaching the completion of the Utah Theatre, which should be ready to present shows in next year's line-up. It has been a lengthy project through which we have exercised careful planning and prudent fiscal responsibility. Built in 1924 as an opera house, it was converted to a movie house in 1945. Now she will be both! We are grateful to an extensive list of devoted friends who have enabled the rebirth of the Utah through their generosity.
I have enjoyed being on the stage for the past eight years, but it is a blessing to focus on the big picture of the Festival this year. I have needed all my concentration to focus on the wonderful projects coming to fruition. I'll be back on the stage next year in one of my favorite roles: Don Quixote in The Man of La Mancha.
This season has proven to be our most exhilarating yet! Thank you for supporting us to this point. We hope you will continue to do so by inviting your friends to our productions and through donations of any amount. Our plans for the future are so thrilling. As Jolson used to say, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"
Founding General Director
THE BEST IN HIGH SCHOOL MUSICALS JUDGED AT USU THIS SATURDAY |
By Jennie Christensen, Cache Valley Daily
Published: Thursday, May 8, 2014
The fourth annual Utah High School Musical Theater Awards will be presented Saturday, May 10 in the Kent Concert Hall of the Utah State University Chase Fine Arts Center. The prestigious theater competition is sponsored and produced by Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre.
The director of the event, Vanessa Ballam, says more than 250 high school performers will display their talent for the live audience.
"We have students from 28 schools from across the state, the best of the best musical theater performers that will be performing production numbers from their musicals," Ballam explains. "We'll also have 50 individual finalists.
"So our finalists for Best Actor, Best Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and our Cameo Performers will also be performing snippets from their nominated roles that evening. We will also be handing out awards for performers and technical achievement."
She says Michael Ballam, general director of the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, will be hosting the event. Utah Festival pays for the winners of the Best Actor and Best Actress awards to go to New York City to participate in a national competition.
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LEGENDARY LYRICIST SHELDON HARNICK TALKS 'FIDDLER' WITH MICHAEL BALLAM |
By Jeff Hunter, The Herald Journal
Published: Friday, August 2 2013
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