Madama Butterfly’s Jeffrey Kitto: the tenor really rocks

If Jeff Kitto looks more like a rock star than a stereotypical opera singer, there’s good reason: He almost was a rock star. If he exudes the easygoing gregariousness of your favorite bartender, there’s good reason for that, too: For years, as he built his career as a singer, he split time between tending bar and flying out to perform in opera productions around the country.

But if you think Montana couldn’t possibly be home to world-class opera singers, just wait ‘til Jeff Kitto opens his mouth. [Read More...]

Summer Youth Opera Camp: Changing lives, one aria at a time

(This guest post was written by Tonja King, co-director of Montana Lyric Opera’s Summer Youth Opera Camp, which concludes this weekend with two performances of “Pandora’s Box,” a youth opera based on music by Offenbach. Tickets to the production, which takes place at UM’s Music Recital Hall, are available at or at the door.)

The performing arts have the power to inspire wonderfully creative—and potentially lucrative—learning opportunities for students. Montana Lyric Opera’s annual Summer Youth Opera Camp has provided important life skills and exciting educational experiences for three local young singers beginning their paths to successful careers.

peragineMissoula native Emily Peragine definitely knew from an early age she wanted to be a performer. A talented dancer and actress, Emily discovered her love of classical music during high school when she began entering vocal competitions. Her experience singing in MLO’s youth productions of Amahl and the Night Visitors and The Emperor’s New Clothes helped hone her focus on pursuing a career in the challenging genre of operatic music. [Read More...]


Summer Opera Festival kicks into high gear

On a hot July evening last summer, an eclectic crowd of Western Montanans filtered into the University Theatre on the UM campus and found their seats for the opening performance of Montana Lyric Opera’s production of Verdi’s opera, Rigoletto.

In a way, it was one of those quintessentially Missoula moments: grown men in shorts and Hawaiian print shirts found their seats next to kids dressed in their Sunday best; doctors and rockers shared armrests; people waved across the auditorium and chatted with old friends. Take off the roof and remove the plush chairs, and it could have been just another Saturday morning at the Farmer’s Market

Except it wasn’t that. Because it was also one of those unique Missoula moments, when the city’s newest performing arts organization staged the centerpiece of the first-ever Western Montana Summer Opera Festival. [Read More...]

Tech N9ne, take nine

It appears that rapper Tech N9ne has decided to make Missoula his home away from home, as he’s coming back for the umpteenth time. Or maybe the ninth. I dunno, I’m not personally interested enough to dig back into the archives to see how many times he’s been here, but since he apparently has a crowd in this town, I’m posting up the press release: [Read More...]

Atmosphere set to return to Missoula

Indie rap heroes Atmosphere are returning to Missoula for a pair of shows at the Wilma. These guys put on an amazing show, and it looks like we’ll get a double-dose. This press release came in before my vacation, so tickets are already on sale at this point…. [Read More...]

Guest post: reminiscences of Garth

I’ve been on vacation for the past week, but in the meantime my good friend (and fishing and hunting buddy) Bryant Ralston of Clinton decided to write up a guest post for the blog. Bryant spent the past weekend in Kaycee, Wyoming, for the dedication of the Chris LeDoux Memorial Park; as part of his trip he got to see Garth Brooks perform a concert with the Sun Valley Symphony. There’s an interesting and very personal connection that strings all of this together for Bryant. I’ll let him explain. Thanks for the post, Bryant! [Read More...]