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The Sunday Opera: "Riders of the Purple Sage" by Craig Bohlmer from Arizona Opera


We’ll head out west for this week’s Sunday Opera (12/3  3:00 p.m.) and an adaptation by Craig Bohmler and Steven Mark Kohn of Zane Grey’s novel considered by many to be the greatest western ever written, “Riders of the Purple Sage,” a story of religious persecution and cattle rustlers.  The cast from Arizona Opera includes Laura Wilde as Jane, Joshua Jeremiah as Lassiter, Amanda Opuszynski as Bess, and Joshua Dennis as Venters with Joseph Mechavich conducting.   Following the opera, join host Michael Kownacky for more American music: a secular cantata by Paul Moravec entitled “The Blizzard Diaries” which takes its text from the poetry of Ted Kooser which was based on first-hand accounts from survivors of the “Schoolhouse Blizzard” of 1888 that killed countless people in the West and Midwest.  Following “The Blizzard Voices,” we’ll turn to a suite of music from Virgil Thomson’s score for the 1936 documentary “The Plow that Broke the Plains” which looks at the causes and devastation caused by the over-farming of the Great Plains in the United States and Canada which resulted in the Dust Bowl.