Every Voice Tells a Story

Thank you for helping us tell our story! Please join us for our 40th Anniversary Season. Get tickets and more information here.

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Win season tickets to Utah Opera’s 40th Anniversary Season and a $50 gift card for dinner at Bambara.

Four winning Golden Tickets are hidden in random Chocolate Conspiracy chocolate bars. One of those tickets is a Grand Prize winner that includes a pair of season tickets to Utah Opera’s 40th anniversary season and a $50 gift card for dinner at Bambara. Three runners-up winners will receive a voucher that can be exchanged for two tickets to a Utah Opera performance during the 2017-18 season.


Grand Prize Winner (1): Two (2) season tickets to Utah Opera’s 2017-18 season on either Monday or Wednesday night.. Date to be determined at the winner’s request when prize is claimed. (1) gift card to Bambara valued at $50.

Runners-up Winners (3): Two (2) vouchers that can be exchanged for one ticket each to select performances in Utah Opera’s 2017-18 season. Date to be determined at the winner’s request when prize is claimed.

Golden tickets are available at participating Chocolate Conspiracy retailers. Odds of winning a prize from a Chocolate Conspiracy retailer are 1 in 25. The contest starts on June 1, 2017 and ends on September 4, 2017. Redemption instructions are included on winning tickets.

Participating retailers include:

Harmons Bangerter Crossing
125 East 13800 South, Draper, UT

Harmons Brickyard
3270 South 1300 East, Salt Lake City, UT

Harmons City Creek
135 East 100 South, Salt Lake City, UT

Harmons Cougar
4872 West 6200 South, Kearns, UT

Harmons Draper
672 East 11400 South, Draper, UT

Harmons Emigration Market
1706 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, UT

Harmons Orchards
870 East 800 North, Orem, UT

Harmons Seventh Street
7755 South 700 East, Midvale, UT

Harmons Station Park
200 N. Station Parkway, Farmington , UT

Harmons Taylorsville
5454 S. Redwood Road, Taylorsville, UT

Harmons The District
11453 South Parkway Plaza, South Jordan, UT

Harmons Traverse Mountain
1750 Traverse Parkway Lehi, UT

Receive a Golden Ticket Without Purchase (alternate method of entry “AMOE”): A Participant can request a Golden Ticket without buying a Chocolate Conspiracy chocolate bar at a participating retailer by mailing a legibly handwritten, self-addressed, stamped envelope (“SASE”) with sufficient postage and a return address, including first and last name, street address, city, state, and ZIP code to: UTAH SYMPHONY | UTAH OPERA, 336 N 400 WEST, SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84103. DO NOT SEND ANY WINNING GOLDEN TICKETS, COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS TO THIS ADDRESS. One (1) Golden Ticket will be mailed in response to each mail-in request that complies with the requirements of the Official Rules, while supplies last. Each Golden Ticket has a 1 in 25 chance of winning a prize. Mail-in requests, including both outer envelope and SASE, must be handwritten. Outer envelope must include a return address in the upper left hand corner that matches the requestor’s street address, and must be postmarked no sooner than May 1, 2017 and no later than August 14, 2017, and received by Sponsor no later than October 1, 2017. Each request must be mailed in a separate stamped outer mailing envelope. Requests that are sent in business reply envelopes, that utilize address labels or stickers (for any address), that are photocopied, hand-stamped, computer-generated or otherwise mechanically or digitally produced or reproduced, that are not mailed in separate outer stamped mailing envelopes, or that otherwise fail to comply with the Official Rules, will NOT be honored, acknowledged or returned, and the persons submitting such requests will forfeit any corresponding postage and unused envelopes.

Celebrating & Connecting Utah’s

Opera was born in the 1600s as an art form where poetry, dance, and music were combined into a single work. Although the art form has evolved over time, the tradition of collaboration continues today with operas featuring talented singers, actors, dancers, visual artists, orchestral musicians, craftsmen, fashion designers, and more. In addition to these more traditional art forms, innovative technology is being featured more and more on the opera stage.

This is where we draw our inspiration for Creative Community. In the spirit of opera’s tradition of bringing creative people together on the stage, Utah Opera connects creatives in our community together off stage through programs and events that celebrate creativity in Utah and bring a diverse group of creative individuals together.

Join us as we explore the many ways that creativity intersects in our community.

Funded by OPERA America’s Building Opera Audiences Grant Program, supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

Past Sumer Events

August 20, 2016 - Utah Hogle Zoo's ZooBrew

Join us for an adults-only event at the zoo where Utah Opera will sing arias from our upcoming 2016-2017 season. Learn more>>



August 20, 2016 - Arts in the Park at Timpanogos Cave

In celebration of the NPS Centennial, Timpanogos Cave National Monument has organized a day where visual and performing artists create art along the trail and inside the cave. Utah Opera will be singing on the deck by the visitor center and then hiking up to the Camel Room inside the cave for a truly breathtaking experience.   Learn more>>

August 13, 2016 - Opera and Fashion at Kimball Arts Festival in Park City

We have collaborated with the Kimball Art Center and Main & Sky for a day of opera and a fashion show by Farasha inspired by our upcoming 2016-2017 season. Learn More>>


July 29, 2016 - Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival 

Opening night party of the festival where the videos from Opera from the Hive are projected onto the Sugar Mound building. Learn more>>


June 23–25, 2016 - Random Acts of Opera at the Utah Arts Festival

Several years ago, as flash mobs and pop-up art-making started making a viral presence, we decided one way Utah Opera could surprise and delight people with art in an unexpected place would be to offer 5-10 minutes of music in the open space inside our beautiful downtown library.

Utah Opera’s summer guests, baritone Markel Reed and soprano Clara Hurtado Lee and pianist Emily Williams will perform “randomly” on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at noon and 1PM. Each performance features three sets in the Library Atrium.

At random times throughout each season, in collaboration with the library staff (who purchased a portable piano to encourage musical events), Utah Opera’s Resident Artists show up and sing opera in the atrium. It’s a great way for us to share the love of trained vocal instruments with our community. It’s exciting for the company to be able to extend these pop-up events into the Utah Arts Festival this year.

Learn more>>

Library Atrium

  • Thu, June 23, 1:00 Baritone Markel Reed and Pianist Emily Williams
  • Fri, June 24, 12:00 Baritone Markel Reed and Pianist Emily Williams
  • Fri, June 24, 1:00 Soprano Clara Hurtado Lee and Pianist Emily Williams
  • Sat, June 25, 12:00 Baritone Markel Reed and Pianist Emily Williams
  • Sat, June 25, 1:00 Soprano Clara Hurtado Lee and Pianist Emily Williams


June 17-19, 2016 - Utah Foster Care: Chalk Art Festival

Utah Opera hired a chalk artist to create a mural depicting the upcoming 2016-17 opera season. Learn more>>

 Past Events for Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro 

 April 18, 2016 - May 15, 2016 - Libretti & Libations

Utah opera and Salt Lake Magazine collaborate with bars/restaurants and they create craft cocktails inspired by the libretto of our upcoming production of Marriage of Figaro. 
Learn more >>

 Media Sponsor


Participating establishments:




May 7, 2016 - Harmon's Cooking Demonstration

A multicourse meal with a menu exploring all the different countries involved with the making of Figaro.  Learn more>>


May 6, 2015 - May Day on Main Gallery Stroll

Utah Opera's Resident artist perform Random acts of Opera at the Hope Gallery (151 S Main)



April 29, 2016 - Libretti & Libations Cocktail Crawl

Join us for Utah Opera’s second Libretti & Libations Bar Crawl. This time around, we'll be going to just 8 of the 11 bars and restaurants, but we encourage you to try them all! The tentative schedule (because, you know, fun happens) is mapped out below. We will be tweeting updates of our location, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @utahopera, especially if you plan on meeting us for just part of the crawl.

Visit our Facebook page for more info:  

Click on the handy dandy google map link below for the route:



Digital Opera Project

This is a series of multi-media operas presented by the Utah Opera and The Bee. We have collaborated with local authors, composers, musicians, and film studios to create a unique twist on an old tradition. 

May 17, 2016-The Bee: A Night at the Opera

Join us for a dramatic evening of storytelling as the Utah Opera debuts Operas from the Hive, a collection of 5 short operas based on true stories told on stage at The Bee! This truly collaborative compilation of animated and live action short films feature the resident artists of Utah Opera, with original scores written by the Salty Cricket Composers Collective, performed by local musicians, and produced by local studios. This project is one-of-a-kind!

Club at 50 West 7pm Cocktail Hour. 8pm Stories. 21+  

>> This show is now sold out! <<

Tickets will not be available at the door. If you're feeling lucky, you can write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  with the subject line "Night at the Opera Waiting List" and we'll let you know if we have any openings!

Presented in partnership with The Utah Opera with thanks to our community partners for their support: KRCL 90.9FM, Utah Humanities, & CATALYST Magazine.

Learn more about The Bee and get on our list at



August 13, 2015- "The Bee" Storytelling Competition in collaboration with Salty Cricket Composer Collective

Utah Opera's Company Manager Michelle Peterson will guest judge at The Bee's LOST & FOUND event at Urban Lounge. For more information, visit will also kick off a collaboration between The Bee, Salty Cricket Composer Collective, and Utah Opera where we will be creating short operas based on true stories from our community. More details to follow! 

Past events for Verdi's Aida Past Events for Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro 

February 22, 2016 - March 20, 2016 --Libretti & Libations

Utah opera and Salt Lake Magazine have collaborated with 10 bars/restaurants and they have created 11 craft cocktails inspired by the libretto of our upcoming production of Aida. 
Learn more >>

Media Sponsor


Participating establishments:




March 11, 2016 - Libretti & Libations Bar Crawl 

Join us for Utah Opera’s first Libretti & Libations Bar Crawl. This time around, we'll be going to just 8 of the 10 bars and restaurants, but we encourage you to try them all! The tentative schedule (because, you know, fun happens) is mapped out below. We will be tweeting updates of our location, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @utahopera, especially if you plan on meeting us for just part of the crawl.

Visit our Facebook page for more info: 

Click on the handy dandy google map link below for the route




February 24, 2016 - Bon Appétit at O.P. Rockwell in Park City

A pop-up restaurant at O.P. Rockwell in Park City for Valentine's Day featuring the opera "Bon Appétit" a one-woman opera about Julia Childs making a soufflé. Tickets are $175/person and tickets are available at: 


Past events for Lehár's The Merry Widow

December 18, 2015  - January 24, 2016 - Libretto & Libations

Local mixologists create craft cocktails inspired by the libretto in our upcoming production of Tosca. Learn more >>



January 11 - 24, 2016 - Bel Canto Confections

Enjoy the taste of Tosca through opera-inspired backed goods from participating, local bakeries.



January 20, 2016 - "French Dinner a la Provencal" Cooking Class at Salt Lake Culinary Center

Join Chef Mollie for a delicious trip to the French countryside.  Provence is a French maritime province.  The region is known, and loved, for its wines and cuisine.  The term, a la Provencal, is used to describe dishes from Provence.  In this class, students will prepare a classic French menu that explores and utilizes the abundant riches of Provence’s native ingredients. For more information and to sign up visit the Salt Lake Culinary Center website. Use code UO2016 for 10% off!

January 19, 2016 - Resident Artist Perform at Adobe
Resident Artists perform for Adobe employees at their headquarters in Lehi, Utah.
January 18, 2016 - Ronald McDonald House
A night out to the opera for deserving families - including a reception in the Capitol Theatre's 5th Floor.

Past Events for Puccini's Tosca

September 13 - October 18, 2015 - Libretto & Libations

Local mixologists create craft cocktails inspired by the libretto in our upcoming production of Tosca. Learn more >>


October 10 - 18, 2015 - Bel Canto Confections

Enjoy the taste of Tosca through opera-inspired backed goods from participating, local bakeries.


October 16, 2015 - Opera at the Gallery Stroll

Utah Resident Artists will perform at ArtAccess during the Gallery Stroll on the 3rd Friday in October. The Resident Artists will perform a 20-minute program of music from the current opera Tosca.


October 12, 2015; 12:00 - 1:00 pm - Design Week

At the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre

Utah Opera is opening its stage for Design Week. Start the week off with an up-close look at the artistry and design of Puccini's Tosca. This lunch-time event features a discussion focused on the sophisticated techniques Ercole Sormani used in the creation of Tosca's famous Roman backdrops. Experience the dramatic effect that lighting can have on design. Then, go on stage for the full experience of a walk through Rome.

October 10, 2015 - Fashion Night at Tosca (by invitation only)

A fashion experience of current styles influenced by Puccini's Tosca held on the rooftop terrace at Capitol Theatre.


October 5, 2015 - "Italian for a Day" Cooking Class at Salt Lake Culinary School

Learn how to cook classic Italian dishes such as bruschetta, cacciatora, gnocchi, risotto, and tiramasu and experience classical Italian opera with Puccini's Tosca. When you sign up, enter promo code Opera1005 to get 10% off! To learn more, visit

October 3, 2015 - Private Dining event with Red Kitchen (by invitation only)

The chefs at Red Kitchen present an intimate dining experience inspired by the characters, music, and setting of Tosca.

September 25, 2015 - Creative Mornings at the Utah Opera Production Studios 

An event at Utah Opera Production Studios complete with a tour and preview of a rehearsal for Tosca.

Thank you for all who joined us for Ginamarie Marsala's presentation and the great group discussion on Empathy. The video of the event will be posted when it comes available. 

August 31, 2015 - Utah Opera at StartFEST's StartUp Games

Utah Opera sponsored the photo booth from at the StartUp Games in Provo. More than 50 individual photos were taken at the event, and prizes (including free tickets to a future opera) were given away.


The National Opera America Center

Funded by OPERA America's Building Opera Audiences Grant Program, supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. OPERA America's Building Opera Audiences initiative supports the efforts of opera companies in the U.S. and Canada to build informed, enthusiastic audiences through innovative programs.

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 801-869-9021 with any questions related to Creative Community or to sign up for email notification of future events.


Notes from the Composer

by Paula Fowler

A year after the January 1970 premiere of his opera Of Mice and Men at Seattle Opera, composer Carlisle Floyd wrote at length about its creation for The Opera Journal. Though much of what he shared in that article applied principally to that premiere production, a great deal of it is also, of course, illuminating for subsequent productions. Utah Opera’s production in May 2012 will mark our company’s second presentation of this contemporary American opera. John Steinbeck’s short novel Of Mice and Men, published in 1937, portrays a period in the lives of two itinerant ranchhands, George Milton and Lennie Small, who traverse California during the Great Depression. The two men search for work, food and shelter—and they dream of buying their own farm, of having a real home. Progress toward fulfilling this goal is stymied time and again: large, slow-witted Lennie has a knack for getting himself in trouble, because he loves to pet soft things and doesn’t know his own strength. It’s up to George to continually rescue him and keep them in motion toward their goal. Carlisle Floyd wrote about his initial impulse to consider this story as the basis for an opera:

I re-read the novel back in the fall of 1963 with an eye to its suitability for operatic treatment, and this, I am reasonably sure, was prompted by a rather light-hearted discussion with two friends of mine….I was struck by its play-like qualities in addition to its memorable characters and marvelously theatrical scenes. Not knowing at the time that Steinbeck had very successfully dramatized his book for the stage shortly after its publication, I thought I detected act-endings and scenes that built to curtains. I do remember that I frequently experienced that particular excitement reserved for books, plays, or whatever, that seem ideal for conversion into operas.

Floyd was interested in the idea but didn’t get into action on the project until he was offered a Ford Foundation commission, which requested that he consider using a Steinbeck work for a new opera.

The early stages of starting the opera progressed smoothly: the Ford Foundation approved his selection, so he didn’t have to propose a variety of libretto subjects; and he found Steinbeck, who was still alive, “most cooperative.” Floyd got to work, and wrote an entire version of the opera with which he ended up feeling discontented. In this first version of the opera, Floyd worked hard to stay true to Steinbeck’s original story, referring to the text as he wrote the libretto. He did allow himself a few liberties, however: he boldly deleted one of Steinbeck’s scenes—one that takes place in the black groom’s quarters— because it seemed redundant and dated despite its possibly timeless social commentary. Equally boldly, he added a scene in a brothel for George that would illustrate how George saves every penny for his farm. But once the time for staging rehearsals for this scene drew close, Floyd and the artistic staff concluded that this scene too was “unnecessary to tell the story.” Moreover, the brothel scene created characterization problems for George, and it added many additional women into the story. Floyd decided that the brothel women (much as the Seattle chorus women liked the challenge of “impersonating prostitutes”) destroyed the “dramatic equation of a single woman in the midst of a group of men.” Floyd excerpted arias for Slim and George, found a place for them early in Act Two, and put aside the rest of the scene.

All of the libretto and two of the three acts of music for the first version of this opera were complete by summer 1966, so Floyd sent the work to people whose opinions he valued for feedback. He suspected that the work was already too long, and he has revealed that his chosen reviewers found it dull. He concluded that he needed to either give it up forever or start all over, and he elected to rethink the entire work. One friend put his finger on the real problem, which was in the libretto: Floyd needed to give up all loyalty to Steinbeck and make his own version of the story. So the composer stopped referring altogether to Steinbeck’s book, or his play. He resolved “to turn Steinbeck’s novel into an opera, regardless of the consequences to his book.” The central story line, once exposed, was…a very simple one: the pathetic, fierce pursuit of a simple, if ultimately doomed, dream by two itinerant ranch workers, one of whom inadvertently obstructs the dream’s fulfillment. In my notes to myself, I wrote: “George to realize their dream, has the impossible task of keeping Lennie out of trouble.” Viewed from this angle, George therefore becomes the propelling force in the drama, the active character…. The real antagonist in the drama is Curley’s Wife, and, to a less obvious degree, Lennie, himself. The drama…is a study of human attachment in an environment of harsh personal isolation and despair, and I feel that what Steinbeck is saying throughout is that even George’s unsatisfactory, but nevertheless tender, relationship with a slow-witted man-child is preferable to the loneliness and rootlessness of his fellow ranch hands.

Once Floyd gave himself permission to write his own Of Mice and Men, he felt more free to invent scenes of his own that would develop what he had decided was the central story line. Floyd added an opening scene of the two men escaping from the police, as well as a second scene between Curley and his wife that shows the “angry and volatile environment” that George and Lennie enter. Additionally, Floyd is happy about having added a newspaper want-ad at the top of Act Two – it develops the idea of a dream, and gives George a great prop. The ad “also supplies an occasion for some buoyancy and high spirits which, otherwise, are in short supply” in the opera. Once he had completed this new, freer libretto, Floyd had to make decisions about the “kind of music…[that] the subject matter, locale, and characters required.” Floyd contemplated an overall musical style for this American story, and also determined individual musical characterizations for his characters: Lennie …would be characterized primarily as a child: a physical giant with the self image… of a small, and rather helpless mouse. I wanted to de-emphasize the emptyeyed, slack-jawed conception of Lennie which is where some actors begin and end their portrayal of the role, and I felt that I had Steinbeck in my corner since he has George frequently refer to Lennie as being “just a kid.” Approaching Lennie as a child…makes the character more interesting dramatically since it permits a much greater emotional range for the actor (and especially the composer) to exploit. Also, to be perfectly honest, the prospect of writing music to characterize an idiot in a major role in a full length opera stunned my imagination: what on earth would one do musically with almost total emotional and mental vacuity? An important antagonist in the story is Curley’s Wife, who has no proper first name in this men’s world. George and Lennie meet her when they finally score a job at a ranch. …the role for Curley’s Wife would be written for a lyric-coloratura soprano, or preferably a dramatic coloratura. The coloratura element was to be used to heighten the excessively coy, false aspects of the character. On the other hand, when she is being emotionally honest, as in her confrontation with George in the second act, or in the third act duet with Lennie, her vocal line would be entirely without decoration. The way this musical approach to the role worked out in actual practice pleased me especially.

Floyd felt the challenge as a composer to write music that would help depict the main characters, and also communicate the intense drama of the story. For the characters, in general, he wanted something direct, almost folk-like, but the music underlying dramatic scenes such as the murder of Curley’s Wife would need to be more sophisticated to support the burden of the scene. Floyd studied other operas that wove music with folk elements into a tonal fabric that also incorporated great complexity. He benefited especially from his study of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes. He  admired that in Britten’s score.…there is no compromise of musical values: no purely “effect writing,” no aimless passages of orchestral punctuation, no setting of dialogue only one step removed from actual speech (the easy way out), no overly facile accompaniments for the vocal line. In other words, there is no evasion of their responsibilities as composers, no slackening of musical discipline: at all times one is aware of distinguished craftsmanship.

Floyd completed the entire score in the spring of 1968, and took another six months to revise and edit further before scoring it for orchestra. Meanwhile, Seattle Opera created its visual design and singers learned their roles for the premiere on January 22, 1970. The title of Steinbeck’s novel comes from a Robert Burns’ poem, “To a Mouse,” which includes the lines: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley (Often go awry).” That is the truth of experience for the characters of Of Mice and Men in novel, drama, and opera. Carlisle Floyd might have said the same about his first attempt at a libretto based on this story. He wrote, “I have never before invested what seemed at times the endless amount of labor required to complete the opera.” But fortunately, he could choose to make a second attempt, and this one did not go awry. Floyd has reported that “no other opera gave me as much pleasure once it was finished.”

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