Utah Festival Opera
The landmark theater company takes center stage in Logan for six weeks during the summer
When attendees come to Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, they are rarely arriving for just another night out.
The Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, with its rich 25-year history, offers a multi-faceted experience — one that gives patrons more than exceptional performances on the stage.
As you prepare for your ennobling outings, you might just sing an aria of delight. That’s because during the course of the company’s six-week run, there is much to be excited about: outstanding operas, memorable musicals, engrossing educational talks, meet-and-greets with the talent, and barnstorming backstage tours. Indeed, music in the mountains never sounded so good.
Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre was founded in 1992 by operatic tenor Michael Ballam. The Logan native has had a long and sustained career in theater, and he makes for the perfect host to the troves of opera fanatics who come to Utah every summer.
Since its quaint beginnings, the festival has expanded greatly. Victor Herbert’s Naughty Marietta was the first work performed by the company in 1993, along with La boheme, Trial By Jury, and The Impresario. Now, the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre performs five main shows in repertory each season with several operas and several musicals — something for everyone. Generally, there are classics with evocative interpretations, and on occasion, patrons will find a provocative and challenging show to take in.
There certainly is no arguing the benefits of good music and performance for patrons. Come to an opera or musical with an open mind and leave with a new view of the arts and of your world. Taking in one to several varied performances during a vacation is a real treat.
One of the lure’s of Utah Festival Opera is its size, hitting a sweet spot that is characterized by intimate charm while also featuring some of the finest rising stars and experienced talent in the country. Logan's Ellen Eccles Theatre is a cozy space to see performances as well, and not to forget to mention the quintessential mountain town vibe of downtown Logan.
Expanded Offerings and Things to Do
What’s more, the expanded offerings will keep tourists and locals busy for days. The literary seminars give patrons an in-depth look at the history, artistic preparation, and design of the main productions, while you can actually peep behind the curtain during the backstage tours. Breakfast with the stars gives them an opportunity to pick the brains of operatic and stage talent. One hour before each mainstage performance, you can attend a free informance to enhance your understanding and savvy about opera and musical theater. And to round out the variety of shows to see during your trip, there’s tabernacle concerts, which are also free to the public.
Daily programming begins in the morning with talks and demonstrations and continues throughout the day until the evening show or late-night event. When you aren’t attending a show or other programming, there is much to do in Logan, an optimal festival city. At its elevation, the city stays relatively mild during the heat of the summer season. For those needing extra measures to cool down, you can head to Bear Lake State Park, also known as the “Caribbean of the Rockies” for its turquoise hue, for a multitude of water sports recreations. Logan boasts several delightful eateries, such as Even Stevens Sandwiches for a bite on the go or the worth-the-drive Indian fare at Tandoori Oven. Indeed, beautiful parks and awe-inspiring vistas beckon and fill out your itinerary.
For a fan of stage productions and of mountainous places, few small to mid-sized opera- and musical-themed festivals can compare.
Information and Current Season
For more information about the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, visit www.ufoc.org or call 435-752-0026. Tickets are $12-76 with discounts for students K-12, full-time college students and when purchasing all four shows. The Ellen Eccles Theatre is located at 43 S. Main in Logan, Utah.
2017 Season: June 23–August 9
In the words of Ballan, 2016 was “filled with passion, redemption, injustice, fantasy, comedy, and salvation.” Throughout the summer this year, you can join the Festival as they interpret the Humpback of Notre Dame, Pirates of Penzance, Madama Butterfly, The Musicman, Rex and Suessical™.