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ARIZONA OPERA TO PREMIERE LOUD! (Living Opera, Understanding Diversity) AS THE LATEST ADDITION TO ITS ROBUST DIGITAL OFFERINGS

Thursday, January 21, 2021

ARIZONA OPERA TO PREMIERE LOUD! (Living Opera, Understanding Diversity) AS THE LATEST ADDITION TO ITS ROBUST DIGITAL OFFERINGS

Series Premiere will Focus on Phoenix and Debut on Thursday, January 28 at 6 PM MST

Additional Episodes will be Released in February, along with 24-Hour Streaming Following Each Premiere

 

Arizona Opera is proud to announce the latest addition to its robust collection of digital offerings, LOUD! (Living Opera, Understanding Diversity).

A new video series within Arizona Opera’s Connection Lab program, LOUD!, which will premiere on Thursday, January 28 at 6 PM MST, will use a digital magnifying glass to showcase the incredible diversity of arts and culture across the Southwest.

Spanning four vibrant locales over four separate episodes – each locale with its own distinct cultural heritage and history (Phoenix, Tucson, New Mexico and Las Vegas) – LOUD! will bring to life compelling stories and real-life examples of some of the unique forms of art that are flourishing within each destination, along with captivating stories of the people who create that art. On this journey, viewers will discover that music was – and is – a common thread that connects us through our diverse communities, and a link that connects our communities with the world of opera.

 

ABOUT LOUD!:

LOUD! (Living Opera, Understanding Diversity) is the brain child of Teniqua Broughton (founder and CEO of VerveSimone Consulting) and Luis “Weezy” Egurrola (Founder/Co-Artistic Director of Epik Dance Company and coach of the Hip Hop Squads of both the Phoenix Mercury and Phoenix Suns).

The program is designed to connect communities near and far through discussions and performances via a focus on diverse cross-sections – with a particular focus on the BIPOC community, showcasing arts and culture in the West, and highlighting stories that are focused on music and grounded in their sometimes-surprising connections to the world of opera.

Teniqua Broughton said, “I applaud Arizona Opera and its management team for not only embracing, but showcasing the importance of celebrating the diversity of BIPOC people through this new video series. Our goal is to shine a light on a number of robust BIPOC arts and cultural organizations, businesses, and people that truly give each of our ‘cities of focus’ their flavor, their spice, and their ultimate uniqueness.”

“Weezy” Egurrola commented, “Music – including opera – is a great equalizer. It will be fascinating to discover and share how music and the arts overall enhance not only people’s lives in general, but how they help to define specific communities throughout our country.”

Joseph Specter, President and General Director of Arizona Opera, added, “Arizona Opera is committed not only to maximizing our artistic vibrancy on the stage, but also to growing our impact through new conversations and initiatives that will help us to become an organization that more fully reflects and celebrates the communities we serve.”

He continued, “It is for this reason that we have brought to life such important works as Maria de Buenos Aires, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, and Fellow Travelers in recent years, and why sharing LOUD! with our community this season is so vital. We are deeply grateful to Teniqua and Weezy for their vision and energy in making LOUD! a reality.”

Cassie Robel, Arizona Opera’s Director of Education and Community Engagement, commented, LOUD! (Living Opera Understanding Diversity) is just the latest effort on behalf of Arizona Opera to showcase the richness of the culture, music and dance of the people with whom we share this planet. It is particularly fulfilling to be able to bring new awareness of these remarkable individuals and arts to life for others to enjoy and hopefully support in the future”.

Each LOUD! episode will be available to access 24 hours a day on Arizona Opera’s OnDemand channel, Arizona Opera OnDemand, following the premiere. In addition to LOUD!, a wide array of additional content – much of it at no cost to the viewer - may also be found on the channel.

This programming would not be possible without the support of our 2020/21 Reimagined Season Lead Digital Sponsors, Ron and Kay McDougall. Additional Connection Lab sponsorship is made possible, in part, by the Arizona Community Foundation and Manley Films.

 

EPISODE SPECIFICS:

Episode One – Focus on Phoenix (premieres Thursday, January 28 at 6 PM MST, available thereafter at https://ondemand.azopera.org:

In the premiere episode of LOUD!, host Luis “Weezy” Egurrola will dive into several unique aspects of the eclectic music scene in Phoenix, featuring a profile and performance by the all- female group, Mariachi Pasion, and a conversation and musical moment with singer/songwriter, Steven Powell, who has shared the stage with numerous nationally-recognized artists including Lee Greenwood and jazz great Dennis Rowland.

 

Episode Two – Focus on TucsonShowcasing Untapped Talent (premieres Thursday, February 11 at 6 PM MST, available thereafter at https://ondemand.azopera.org:

Includes a performance by vocalist Mattea Richards; an interview with Choreographer and Director of the Safos Dance Theatre, Yvonne Montoya; and a closing performance by EPIK Dance Company, a Phoenix-based hip-hop fusion dance company.

 

Episode Three – Focus on New MexicoDiscoveries of New Mexico (premieres Thursday, February 18 at 6 PM MST, available thereafter at https://ondemand.azopera.org:

Includes a performance by Hoop Dancer, Tony Duncan, accompanied by guitarist, Darrin Yazzie, and drummer, Jeremy Meyers; plus an interview and performance of a piece entitled “You I Am – My Town” by Hakim Bellamy, Inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque from 2012-2014.

 

Episode Four – Focus on Las VegasUncovering Black History in Vegas (premieres Thursday, February 25 at 6 PM MST, available thereafter at https://ondemand.azopera.org:

Includes a performance by Kelley Boesel (aka Haboobs) and violinist, Jonathan Levingston, who collaborate to instantaneously celebrate a famous music icon; a performance by spoken word poet, Lady Caress; some fascinating history about the Moulin Rouge (the first integrated gaming establishment in Las Vegas) including the restoration of its historic neon sign; and interviews with three multi-talented Black performers: vocalist Michelle Johnson (“Las Vegas’ First Lady of Jazz”), songstress Amanda King, and Jassen Allen, vocalist and Entertainment Director for The Vegas Room, a Las Vegas Supper Club.

 

For further information about this release, please contact Tom Michel, Director of Marketing, Communications & PR, at tmichel@azopera.org or 702.533.0075

 

ABOUT ARIZONA OPERA

Arizona Opera, now in its 49th 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 performs annually 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 opera’s traditional repertoire featuring baroque, bel canto, and verismo works, turn-of-the-century masterpieces, operettas, and contemporary operas.