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 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...]