High Desert Opera finds ‘Elixir’

Chuck Breaux, left and moving right, Tyrone Gibson and Jomas Gibson are three of the ranch hands on Sue Ellen’s ranch in “The Elixir of Love,” a comedic opera that will be performed by the High Desert Opera in Grand Junction on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 28, and in Delta on Saturday, July 21.

High Desert Opera will present the comedic opera “The Elixir of Love” in three area performances.

The performances will be at 7 p.m. Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 28, at Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St. Another performance will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at the Delta Performing Arts Center, 820 Grand Ave.

Tickets for the Grand Junction shows range in price from $10 to $39 for adults and $10 to $35 for children and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at highdesertopera.org, 523-9605 or at Roper Music.

Tickets to the Delta show are $20 for all ages and are available at the door or at Delta City Market, Delta Ace Hardware and the Delta County Independent.

Baltimore director and actor Thom King has come to Grand Junction to be a part of the show. In addition, King adapted the Gaetano Donizetti opera for a local crowd. It will be in English and set in the Wild West of the 1890s.

In advance of the shows, chorus member Jomas Gibson, 24, talked about the opera and what audiences can expect.

Melinda Mawdsley: Tell me about the plot for the local adaptation of “The Elixir of Love.”

Jomas Gibson: There is…an elixir of love that a traveling medicine man sells to a penniless cowboy in the area so that (the cowboy) can win the heart of a wealthy ranch owner.

Mawdsley: How many people are in the show?

Gibson: It’s about 22 chorus members and five principal (actors.) Also, there are some cameo performances. There’s about 30 performers in all.

Mawdsley: Who are the principals?

Gibson: The medicine man, Dr. Carlo Rato, is played by Thom King. The penniless cowboy, Johnny Reno, is played by out-of-state performer Chester Pidduck. The wealthy ranch owner, Sue Ellen, is played by Yoo Sun Na. Sgt. Buchanan is played by James Werner. The local girl, Eliza, is played by Sierra Rode.

Mawdsley: Finally. What do you think of the show?

Gibson: I think the show is an awesome opportunity for all people to enjoy a combination of creativity and comedic opera. (The show) is coming together.


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