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Deja vu? No, just Opera Omaha rescheduling canceled productions

Deja vu? No, just Opera Omaha rescheduling canceled productions

Opera Omaha has announced its 2021-2022 season, and it sounds familiar.

Three shows canceled by the pandemic are back, including the company’s first foray into musical theater in more than 10 years and a new production of a rarely seen opera about the families of Romeo and Juliet.

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” is scheduled for Feb. 25 and 27, 2022. It will be led by the same creative team it would have had this spring: director Susan Clement Toberer of the Blue Barn Theatre and conductor Hal France, who was Opera Omaha’s artistic director from 1995 to 2005.

The dark musical about a murderous hair-cutter and his pie-making accomplice is a Tony Award-winner.

“The Capulets and the Montagues,” by Vincenzo Bellini and Felice Romani, originally was to be part of the spring 2020 ONE Festival. James Darrah, artistic director of the festival, created a dark and visually rich exploration of love and loss for the production, which is a company premiere.

It is scheduled for Oct. 15 and 17. Christopher Allen will be the conductor.

“Eugene Onegin,” considered to be Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s operatic masterpiece, will round out the season April 22 and 24, 2022. It originally was scheduled for February of this year.

Rosetta Cucchi, artistic director of Ireland’s Wexford Festival, will direct and Steven White will conduct.

For tickets or more information, go to

Renaissance Festival to joust again

Two themed weekends are in store for fans of the Renaissance Festival of Nebraska, coming back to the Bellevue Berry Farm after a pandemic cancellation last year.

May 1 and 2 will be devoted to all things dragon and mythological, from fairies to mermaids to satyrs. Kids can search for small, gift-filled “dragon eggs” and adults can watch live jousting demonstrations, which happen both weekends.

May 8 and 9 is Celts and Kilts weekend. Kids can make an Emerald Isle-inspired craft and adults can enter the shapely leg and kilt contest.

Both weekends will feature food, merchants and live performances. The Fandazzi Fire Circus from the Minnesota Renaissance Festival will return this year. The Knotty Bits Pirate Circus will feature acrobatics, comedy and contortions.

Visit to learn more.

‘Before After’ now onstage at the Blue Barn

A one-night virtual performance of “Before After,” the new musical at the Blue Barn Theatre, will be Friday night at 7.

The show opened last week, but in-person attendance is limited to season ticketholders because of the pandemic.

The play, by Stuart Matthew Price and Timothy Knapman, is billed as a musical love story. It’s about Ben (Scott VanDenTop) and Ami (Alissa Hannish), whose love gets a second chance.

In an event to supplement the show, director Suzanne Withem will talk with former Opera Omaha artistic director Hal France about his love for musicals on Wednesday at 7 p.m. France is building a musical theater program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Digital tickets for “Before After” are available at Admission is $25 for the general public and $20 for educators, health care workers and military personnel.

For additional info, go to

Omaha Symphony launches streaming platform

Your ability to hear the Omaha Symphony anywhere you may be expanded last week.

The symphony announced a new streaming platform, Symphony Anywhere. It will serve as a digital home for Omaha Symphony virtual content and will include a combination of previous material and new symphony performances. It also will offer interviews and behind-the scenes insight.

Access to the platform and some material is free, but there will be individually priced premium content as well. Season subscribers and donors at the $150 level and higher will get all premium content for free.

Two performances at the end of the season, Pink Martini and the Thomas Wilkins finale concert, will be livestreamed on the platform and will require separate tickets.

Users can access the platform for free by using their Ticket Omaha credentials or by signing up at

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Betsie covers a little bit of everything for The World-Herald's Living section, including theater, religion and anything else that might need attention. Phone: 402-444-1267.

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