‘Les Misérables’ is coming to Grand Junction
Special to the Free Press
December seems very far away as we enjoy summer’s heat in the Grand Valley, but High Desert Opera is already hard at work rehearsing for its upcoming New Year’s Eve and January performances of “Les Misérables”! “Les Mis” is the most internationally successful musical in the last 30 years
For those who aren’t yet familiar with this new classic work, “Les Misérables” the musical, is based on the novel of the same name by French poet and playwright Victor Hugo. It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, with an English-language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer.
Set in early 19th-century France, it is the story of Jean Valjean, a burly French peasant of abnormal strength and potentially violent nature, and his quest for redemption after serving 19 years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his starving sister’s child. Valjean decides to break his parole and start his life anew after a kindly bishop inspires him, but he is relentlessly tracked down by a police inspector named Javert. Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a revolutionary period in France, where a group of young idealists make their last stand at a street barricade.
Universal themes of class struggle, war, poverty, the enduring strength of love, and the triumph of the human spirit are all accompanied by gorgeous orchestral music. It is often considered to be an opera, because the entire show is sung with no spoken words. Stirring and beautiful songs such as “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own” and “Bring Him Home” have become a beloved part of our musical culture.
The rights to the fully staged version of this great musical have not been available until now, and High Desert Opera, in celebration of its 10th anniversary, jumped on the chance to perform this masterwork. Bringing great music to the valley is the mission of the company, and it has produced almost 20 high quality operas and Broadway musicals for its loyal audience since 2003.
“Les Misérables” has been cast with some of the valley’s best local talent. Singers are tremendously excited to be part of this historic event. The cast and orchestra of more than 100 people come from every type of performing arts group in town, including CMU students and staff, Grand Junction Symphony, various theater and dance groups, and members of the singing community including: Jack Delmore, Lee Borden, Jeena Williams, Kelly Asuka, Juli Jacobson, Sierra Rode, Bryan Carlson, Dylan Cox, Matthew David Coronado, Bryce MacEvoy, Joey Stafford, Greg Watts, Kyle Evans, Jeffery Randall, Sabrina Jackman, Calloway Jo Levin and Kalinda Theobold.
Many members of the High Desert Opera chorus have been singing with the company for almost 10 years. High Desert Opera’s artistic director, James Werner, will direct the production as well as sing the role of Jean Valjean. Scott Betts will conduct the orchestra.
More information will become available as the performance dates grow closer on HDO’s website, http://www.highdesertopera.org, or on their Facebook page. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-523-9605. Tickets will go on sale in November and prices range from $10 to $39.
Each year, the Lions Club uses race proceeds from the FireKracker 4K race to provide eye examinations and eye glasses for those in the Roaring Fork Valley who are in need.
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