The Ballad of Baby Doe



APRIL 12 (7:30 PM) & 14 (2:00 PM), 2019 AT THE VALENTINE THEATRE


Horace Tabor builds an opera house in the mining town of Leadville, Colorado in Douglas Moore’s most famous and frequently performed opera from 1956. What follows is a distinctly American tale of scandal and betrayal; love and beginning anew; and the loss of a fortune. Peppered with real figures from U.S. history like President Chester A. Arthur and William Jennings Bryan, The Ballad of Baby Doe is also known for the beauty of its heroine’s arias.

Performed in English with English supertitles.

Based on real life characters, The Ballad of Baby Doe recounts the sordid lives of Horace Tabor, Elizabeth “Baby” Doe Tabor, and Augusta Tabor in 20th century Colorado. Prince Tamino is attacked by a giant serpent but is rescued by three ladies. This semi-staged production directed by Scott Skiba will incorporate projections by Michael Baumgarten to provide audiences the sense of time and place. An acclaimed cast and the Toledo Opera Chorus will be led by Maestro Geoffrey McDonald.

Geoffrey Andrew McDonald (Conductor)

Geoffrey McDonald is lauded as a vibrant and versatile conductor already joining the ranks at the forefront of an evolving American opera scene. The New York Times describes him as “an agile conductor…whose pacing is sure in both reflective and restless passages", and the Observer has noted his "original and flexible musical imagination" in productions ranging from baroque to contemporary opera, in traditional venues as well as ambitious site-specific performances. Recently, McDonald made company debuts leading productions for Opera Philadelphia, Atlanta Opera, Wolf Trap, Opera Omaha, and Chicago Opera Theater. As Music Director of New York City's On Site Opera, he continues to marshal performances of the highest musical standard while adapting to immersive and logistically challenging settings. Maestro McDonald’s highlights from recent seasons include appearances as guest conductor with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, collaborations with the International Contemporary Ensemble, and with the historical instrument ensemble Grand Harmonie. In the spring of 2017, McDonald made his German theater debut with Theater und Orchester Neubrandenburg/Neustrelitz, and led the West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra in Prague in a performance of Smetana's Ma Vlast. He is a regular workshop and assistant conductor with Opera Philadelphia, having participated in the development of new operas by Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Daniel Schnyder, and Kevin Puts.


Scott Skiba (Director)

Award-winning Stage Director, Scott Skiba has led more than 60 new operatic productions earning recognition for his imaginative stage direction and dynamic physical approach to storytelling.  His recent production of A Streetcar Named Desire was praised for "first-rate stage direction... vivid and emotionally charged." Scott serves as Executive Artistic Director of Cleveland Opera Theater where he has directed critically acclaimed productions of Madama Butterfly, Le nozze di Figaro, La bohème, Tosca, La Rondine, Gianni Schicchi, Il Tabarro, Pagliacci, The Threepenny Opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, Il Segreto di Susanna, and the Cleveland premiere of the new vampire opera, Clarimonde.  A proponent of new opera, Mr. Skiba’s initiatives helped launch {NOW} Festival - Cleveland Opera Theater's annual event to create, develop, and produce new opera, which is developing an opera based on Garcia Lorca's final play, The House of Bernarda Alba, in collaboration with OBIE-Award-Winning Librettist, Caridad Svich (libretto) Griffin Candey (composer) and the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, among presenting numerous other new operas in various stages of development annually. Curious to explore contemporary approaches to producing opera, Mr. Skiba’s work includes directing and producing interdisciplinary collaborations in alternative venues that promote civic engagement and provide gateways to develop new audiences.


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