Arting up Musicals and Opera: New Tools, New Opportunities

Think musicals are all the kind of fare you find on Broadway? Think again. The "folk opera" Hadestown is indeed Broadway bound, yet began as a song cycle and concept album in Vermont (and featured the Music District's own Jesse Elliott as one of the performers on tour). David Byrne set a musical about Imelda Marcos in a disco. Our appetite for musicals and music theater seems stronger than ever, at the same time as the opportunities to stretch the boundaries of what a musical is seem almost limitless. Get the scoop on what's next for musicals and whatever kind of opera you care to name in Colorado from three perspectives: presenter Jack A. Rogers, who regularly brings musicals to Lincoln Center (and is himself an accomplished musical theater artist); singer songwriter Michael Kirkpatrick, a "modern day minstrel" who is developing a new rock musical with live animation and without singers; and Denver's Chimney Choir, a group that combines folk harmonies, ambient electronics, and swirling textures of rhythm and melody to create category-defying music theater, appearing fresh off a run of their latest creation, an original ballet with Wonderbound in which Aphrodite is imagined as a 30's era switchboard operator tasked with saving the world from itself. The panel will be moderated by Kit Baker. Photo: Nikki A. Rae Photography (Chimney Choir at the Mercury Cafe)