Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre’s 31st season bursts on stage July 5-Aug. 5. Nearly 300 musicians, performers and crew members will come from renowned stages across the nation to the historic Ellen Eccles Theatre in Logan to present spectacular productions and additional events in true festival fashion. This year only, all Utah students ages 8 through seniors in high school can get a free ticket to any or all the shows they want.
The 2023 season includes six Mainstage productions in repertory:
- Two versions of Aida: Verdi’s opera and Elton John’s pop/rock Broadway version. Both are based on a tragic love story between an Egyptian general and a captive Ethiopian princess.
- Richard Wagner’s glorious opera Lohengrin. Rarely performed and this is the first time in Utah. A shining knight arrives on a swan to rescue a damsel in distress, who must promise never to ask for his true identity.
- Family favorite Oliver! Is the classic musical retelling of Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist about a ragtag gang of youthful pickpockets with memorable songs like “Consider Yourself” and “Food, Glorious Food.”
- A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Hilarious! Englishman Monty Navarro learns he stands to inherit an Earldom if he can prevent the eight earls preceding him from inheriting it first. What’s a gentleman to do?
- Our Town. This operatic retelling of the Thornton Wilder classic has been updated to 2020.
Four Things You Should Know About Utah Festival
- All the Mainstage Productions have supertitles in English so you know exactly what’s going on.
- Performances are accompanied by a full orchestra, which is up to 40+ musicians in the pit. There’s practically nowhere that still does that because it’s too expensive. Even on Broadway in New York there is an average of 13 players with a bunch of synthesizers. Not at Utah Festival. Here you get the full experience, how it was meant to be heard.
- Utah Festival’s performers regularly come from the most elite stages in the country like the Met, Broadway, San Francisco, Houston and more to perform under one roof. You can meet them after each show. Unheard of!
- There are free Informances an hour before each show so you can get the inside scoop on all facets of the production.
Wait, There’s More!
On top of spectacular stage performances, the Festival boasts backstage tours, breakfasts with the stars, 27 interactive Academy classes taught by industry experts, late night cabarets and four special concerts. In all, more than 100 events in 30 days.
Concerts include the extraordinary Pianists! on July 11 and the Michael Ballam International Opera Semifinals and Finals are July 18 and 24.
The music of Elton John comes to life during A Sentimental Journey, a celebration of the music of his music on July 25 and 26. The concerts also feature music by Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Irving Berlin.
Amor y Fuego, a passionate concert about love and fire and love on fire will be performed by renowned mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock and her musical partner Andre Vadin on July 31.
On Aug. 2, there will be a special performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem written to commemorate the rebirth of Coventry Cathedral in England performed by American Festival Chorus and Utah Festival Orchestra and soloists under the direction of Dr. Craig Jessop.
Don’t Miss Silent Films and the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ
Take the rare opportunity to soak in a silent film with live accompaniment on a million-dollar Mighty Wurlitzer Organ built in 1925. The organ is connected to two rooms full of pipes and other instruments including drums, cymbals, train whistles, sleigh bells and many more. The initial intent was for one performer to have an entire orchestra available to them and professional theater organist Mike Ohman knows exactly how to make the best of it. You’ll be amazed as you hear and see him bring silent movies to life. The Silent Film Series is held Mondays from now until July 17. Tickets are only $10.
All Mainstage Productions and concerts are held in the Ellen Eccles Theatre, 43 S. Main St. in Logan. Performance tickets are available online at utahfestival.org, by calling 435-750-0300. Mainstage Production tickets are $8-$92, concert tickets are $5-$55 and silent movie and Academy tickets are $10. Other event prices vary. Utah students ages 8 through seniors in high school may receive a complimentary ticket to any or all performances. Discounts are available for season ticket purchases and groups.