• Opera Association Seeks to Keep Golden State Theater Open

    by Kelsey Boeckermann

    A nonprofit group has set its sights on filling the Golden State Theater with opera fans 25 times over the next year.

    The Monterey Opera Association has a 2014 goal for the Monterey Opera and for their venue of choice, the Golden State Theater. The 12 board members – led by original member and President Ron Weitzman – have applied for grant funds to help enable them to rent the Golden State Theater for 25 days in 2014. They plan to split the 25 days up four different ways that will appeal to many diverse audiences. This experiment will tell the Association whether or not the theater is able to support itself and to act as a potential center for the performing arts on the Monterey Peninsula.

    The Monterey Opera Association was founded in 1988. In their 25 years together, The Monterey Opera has developed and offered a number of full-dress operas in various venues.

    Through the Monterey Opera’s many years, audience growth has been their one big difficulty in fully impacting the Central Coast as they wish they could. In 2009 the Monterey Opera took a risk and presented If It’s April It’s Opera with no admission charge. With this concert they were able to fill the Golden State Theater completely and even had to turn potential audience members away at the doors.

    It was in 2008 when the Monterey Opera offered A Valentine’s Musical Bouquet, a concert of arias, and received such a positive reception from its audience that they decided to focus on the performance of arias in concert form instead of full-scale opera productions.

    That works well for their desired venue of choice, the Golden State Theater, since it has very little backstage space to hold a set, according to an Association spokesman.

    The Monterey Opera now relies on generous donations and grants to secure funding for their future.

    The Golden State Theater has a rich history since it was built in 1926. It first featured mainly vaudeville acts and silent movies, and for that reason it has unusual and exceptionally good acoustics which is what makes it the perfect location for live shows and concerts. The theater is in financial straits at this time, and the City of Monterey is considering taking part in its operation.

    The Monterey Opera will present “Arias in Autumn” at the Golden State Theater at 417 Alverado St. in downtown Monterey, on Sat., Oct. 12. The doors will open at 6:30 with the concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. It will feature four intense soloists and the Monterey Opera Orchestra. Carl Christensen will conduct and David Gordon will provide the supertitles. The presentation of “Arias in Autumn” is open free to the public but, to guarantee a seat, attendees will need to call 373-8450 to make reservations.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 10, 2013

    Topics: Front PG News

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