Kate Rice


I recently had a birthday. (I may be old, but damn, I still LOVE birthdays!) One of my birthday activities was watching Opera Wyoming’s production of The Sound of Music. It was amazing! There was an unbelievable amount of talent on that stage. I mean, there was one actor who’d only had a few days to learn the part (‘cause she was filling in for someone else) and had someone not mentioned it, I never would have known. And the singing was crazy good (which you kind of expect from a troupe with Opera in the title, but it surpassed expectations.)  

Now, I know what you may be thinking, because truth be told, I’m not generally a fan of “opera.” Experiencing a live Opera production is incredible, but just sitting around listening to operatic selections for a couple of hours (or a couple of minutes that feel like hours) isn’t on my current (or ever) to-do list. (I should also mention this depends on the vocal quality. Silky smooth? Sure. Shriek-y? Hard pass.) But Opera Wyoming is about more than that; it’s about staging great musical performances that our entire community will love. At least, that’s my take on things. 

Last summer, a friend and I went to see Opera Wyoming’s production of Rent. It was fantastic, but since it was the first show I’d ever seen from this particular company, I didn’t know whether it was a one-off or if all of their productions are so well-done. And by well-done, I really mean fabulous

Watching The Sound of Music convinced me that these folks are truly an impressive theatre company. And how lucky are we that they happen to be another impressive local theatre company (Stage III and Casper College among them)?! Thank you, Daniel and Emily Quintana, for bringing culture to Casper in such an accessible package — none of the stuffiness and all of the talent and fun!

Even though The Sound of Music’s over, Opera Wyoming’s performing another killer show for one more weekend — Ride the Cyclone, directed by Steven Spicher. What’s it about? According to the website…

“In this hilarious and outlandish story, the lives of six teenagers from a Canadian chamber choir are cut short in a freak accident aboard a roller coaster. When they awake in limbo, a mechanical fortune teller invites each to tell a story to win a prize like no other — the chance to return to life.”

(Full disclosure: I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve seen/heard several of the actors involved, and they will totally bring it. Showtimes are August 18th & 19th @ 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday Matinee August 20th @ 2 p.m. at Downtown Casper’s Lyric — the old Iris Theatre.)  

Both of the shows I’ve seen have been staged at The Lyric (although Opera Wyoming apparently also delivers pop-up event appearances, too). The sets were exceptionally good, and the costumes — especially for The Sound of Music — ranged from really frickin’ cool to absolutely breathtaking. 

So, is there sometimes Opera? Of course! For instance, Opera Wyoming delivered the classic La Boheme this past spring. But given the name of the company, that’s only fair, right? And I’ve heard no shriek-y voices to date! Keep an eye on their website (operawyoming.org) and Facebook page to see what upcoming productions match your particular tastes.