Ballam headlines special role of abolitionist John Newton in Amazing Grace

Founding Director Michael Ballam headlines the 2018 production of Amazing Grace at the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, playing at the Ellen Eccles Theatre

Not only is Dr. Michael Ballam the founding director of Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, he is also the star of one of this season’s sure-to-be favorite productions: Amazing Grace.

Ballam is playing the role of Englishman John Newton as he transforms from slave trader to abolitionist.

“The story of Amazing Grace takes place during the slave trading of Great Britain, a terrible time in world history,” Ballam exclaims. “John Newton has a renaissance and a redemption from having been a slave trader to the man who brought forward the emancipation proclamation of England.”

Ballam says it is an important work with beautiful music that most have never heard before.

Amazing Grace debuts Saturday, July 7th as a matinee at the Ellen Eccles Theatre, and continues through the rest of the season until August 4th.

The other main shows being offered this season include The Barber of Seville (with English subtitles), Into the Woods, The Secret Garden and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (performed at the Utah Theatre).

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