What is the key to Fresco Opera Theatre’s success? We enjoy what we do. Our passions are opera, and creating new operatic performances that engage audiences. We also want our musicians to have fun performing in the style that is uniquely Fresco. If we accomplish these goals, we can’t lose. And so far, we have a perfect record.
Melanie Cain, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Fresco Opera Theatre, has created performances where audience members don’t have to worry about being trapped in a 4 hour study hall. Fresco audiences have been exposed to many different operatic styles within the confines of a quick-paced show. After each performance of Dueling Divas II we have heard “I didn’t know I liked opera!” which is music to our ears, and a check mark in the win column.
We have also ventured out past the Madison boundaries, with performances in Appleton WI and La Crosse WI. Our performance at the Trout Museum in Appleton was our second visit there. Last year, we took a condensed version of “Ding Dong, The Diva’s Dead” and staged it in the museum with an audience of approximately 120 people. This year with Dueling Divas II, the museum had to make a waiting list for the overflow of new opera lovers. Another check mark in the win column.
Through the connections in La Crosse of Jess Salek, our Musical Director, we were able to perform a benefit for the La Crosse Historical Society. For a crowd that rarely gets the chance to experience opera, their response to the performance was overwhelming. We were featured on the local news and in the La Crosse Tribune. I don’t know if words can convey the satisfaction we feel when an audience not familiar with the fine arts gives a standing ovation for classical music. Put one more check in the win column.
Fresco Opera Theatre is getting noticed. We will be featured in a prominent arts publication this summer and have been contacted by organizations all around the mid-west. One audience member at our Appleton show, who is associated with a well-known opera company, told us what we are doing is amazing. He went on to say he was going to a production the following day, and that after watching DDII, he knew he would be bored by that production. And this was a seasoned opera veteran. WIN!
A lot of work goes into our productions, but it is a labor of love for us all. The Directors work tirelessly to put out a high caliber performance, making it look effortless. The end result is a magical connection between the audience and performers. And thanks to the hard work and devotion of the Fresco organization, we have a perfect record.
We closed each of the Dueling Divas II shows with the cast coming out on stage and singing Queen’s “We are the Champions,” having the audience sing along. Appropriate considering the operatic nature of the popular music group, and appropriate in capping off our production of Dueling Divas II.
|The Fresco Directors / Founders. Artistic Director, Melanie Cain, pictured with Executive Director (and Announcer) Frank Cain at the Trout Museum in Appleton|