Utah Festival Opera gala event taking on a significant Dickens theme

The Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre opened its 2011 season with a special piano concert Wednesday night. Two mainstage productions opened Thursday, Don Giovanni at 1 p.m. and Oliver at 7:30 p.m. in the Ellen Eccles Theatre.Company spokeswoman Jackie Robinette says the UFOMT’s annual gala event will be held on Friday July, 15 and she says the theme this year is Dickens’ Delight. On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Wednesday, Robinette said the gala will start with a 5 p.m. dinner at the Riverwoods Conference Center and Grand Ballroom, then move to the Ellen Eccles Theatre for a performance of Oliver.”The dinner and theater event together consititute the gala event,” she explained, “and it is focused on the theme of Dickens. So Charles Dickens, the prolific writer and English author (who) has a place in all of our hearts from the Christmas Story down to the Oliver Twist story that we’re going to be performing on stage at the Ellen Eccles Theatre as part of our season.”Robinette says the company’s founder and general director Michael Ballam is playing the role of Fagan in Oliver. Robinette says for reservations and information, call 800-262-0074 or contact the Utah Festival Opera box office.

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