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Arizona Opera Congratulates Craig Bohmler on his Governor’s Arts Award

Friday, March 8, 2019

“Riders of the Purple Sage” composer receives prestigious accolade

PHOENIX (Mar. 8, 2019) — Arizona Opera, the state’s leading opera company, congratulates Craig Bohmler for receiving the 2019 Governor’s Arts Award in the “Artist” category. The award, presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts in partnership with the Office of the Governor, recognizes an artist of significant merit, leadership or reputation whose creations or contributions enrich the state and the field of the arts.

Mr. Bohmler is best known to the Arizona Opera community as the composer of the company’s first world premiere, the phenomenally successful “Riders of the Purple Sage,” which he created together with librettist Steven Mark Kohn, based on the Zane Grey novel of the same name. “Riders” made its world premiere in spring of 2017, and Arizona Opera recently announced the return of the work to its stage in spring of 2020.

Previously a Composer-in-Residence for Arizona Opera from 2013-2017, Bohmler has an extensive body of work that includes a wide variety of operas, musicals, symphonic and choral work, including the award-winning adaption “Enter the Guardsman” and “Gunmetal Blues.”

“We are thrilled for Craig, and we are deeply grateful to Arizona Citizens for the Arts and the Office of the Governor for shining a bright light on the contribution that Craig has made to our state. Craig’s work on ‘Riders of the Purple Sage’ is emblematic of a composer who has found a special sound in the place he calls home, and has brought that sound to life in a way that can move a community,” said Joseph Specter, President and General Director of Arizona Opera.

John Johnson, Arizona Opera Board Chair stated: “We are so fortunate to have Craig here with us in Arizona. Not only has his music enriched the performing arts in our great state, Craig has unselfishly enlightened the art world through his creativity and talent.”

About Arizona Opera

Arizona Opera, now in its 47th season, produces fully-staged operas, concerts, and collaborative programs throughout the state of Arizona each season, and is among only a handful of companies in the U.S. that regularly performs in more than one city. Arizona Opera elevates the transformative power of storytelling through music, cultivating community and strengthening a state and people as adventurous and diverse as the place they call home. Since its inaugural year in 1971, Arizona Opera has produced more than 175 fully-staged operas and concerts. The company's artistic history is rich with a blend of operas traditional repertoire featuring baroque, bel canto, and verismo works, turn-of-the-century masterpieces, operettas, and American operas. ###