St. Paul, Minn. —
Classical MPR's Julie Amacher thinks there is something exciting about discovering opera at the Minnesota State Fair. "When you're wandering around the State Fair, you're seeing all this crazy food on a stick and you're listening to country music, polka music, every kind of music," she says. "Then all of a sudden, here are these phenomenal, young opera singers. I think it really demonstrates to people that opera is accessible."
On Thursday, Aug. 28, at 2 p.m., Amacher welcomes members of the Minnesota Opera's Resident Artist Program to the MPR stage for a live performance. "These are up-and-coming opera stars," Amacher says. "They're all in their 20s. They are the future of opera."
The Minnesota Opera's Resident Artist Program offers a full season of employment for talented artists beginning their professional careers. Performing at the State Fair are resident artists Siena Forest, Andrew Lovato, Shannon Prickett and Gerard Michael d'Emilio. They'll discuss the Minnesota Opera's upcoming season and sing works by Puccini, Mozart, Verdi and others even a selection from Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific.
Among the operas from which selections will be sung is Bizet's Carmen (listen for d'Emilio singing the "Toreador Song"), the final production in the company's upcoming 2014 - 15 season. "And Victoria Vargas, who was one of the artists in residence for four years, is going to be one of the Carmens," Amacher says, evidence that the Minnesota Opera's Resident Artist Program helps cultivate opera's future stars.
Minnesota Opera's artists-in-residence perform on Thursday, Aug. 28, at 2 p.m., at the MPR booth near the corner of Judson and Nelson at the Minnesota State Fair.