Opera Idaho announces an all-Boise cast for its July performances of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma! in Concert. Baritone Jason Detwiler and soprano Jena Carpenter will play the lead roles, Curly and Laurey, in performances July 13 and 15 at 7:00pm at the Idaho Botanical Garden.
Local favorite Jason Detwiler returns to the summer stage as Curly. Jason, a frequent Opera Idaho performer whose roles include Valentin in Faust, Dandini in La cenerentola and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, was last summer's star as the troubled Billy Bigelow in Carousel in Concert. He now returns to take on a role made famous by many musical theatre stars, including Hugh Jackman, Gordon MacRae and AlfrEd Drake.
After growing up in Boise and singing in Opera Idaho's Children's Choruses, Jena Carpenter has been almost a world traveler as she's pursued her dream of a career in opera. First, she attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance in 2009. Last month, she completed her Master of Music degree in Opera Performance at Hochschule fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim in Germany. Earlier this year she made her professional opera debut as a Flower Maiden in Wagner's Parsifal at Pfalztheater Kaiserlautern. In 2003, Jena performed Lauretta in Opera Idaho's Resident Company's production of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi.
Stuart Weiser (Carousel & South Pacific in Concert) returns to conduct the orchestra. Suzanne Hansen, who made her Opera Idaho debut as a Friend of Augusta Tabor in last month's The Ballad of Baby Doe, plays crusty Aunt Eller in her Opera Idaho major role debut. Jim Poston, most recently the Narrator in Carousel and two summers ago the colorful Luther Billis in South Pacific, plays Judy Fry.
Rounding out the cast are Tiffany Calás, seen this season and the last two as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors and Mama McCourt in The Ballad of Baby Doe, will be singing the role of Ado Annie, and real-life father-son duo David and Scott Noland as her oft-reluctant suitors Ali Hakim and Will Parker. Scott appeared earlier this season as Sam in The Pirates of Penzance and two summers ago as Lt. Cable in South Pacific. David has portrayed the eccentric and humorous King Kaspar in Amahl each of the past three years.
For tickets or more information, call 387-1273.