Billings Arts

NOVA Season Announcement

BILLINGS, MT - The NOVA Center for the Performing Arts’ artistic committee and managing producer Dodie Rife announce the center's “Myths and Legends” themed 2018-19 season. The new season includes opera, musicals, theater, youth productions, and improv comedy.

NOVA’s Youth Conservatory will open the season with No Strings Attached, an enchanting musical about the woodcarver Geppetto and his marionette son, Pinocchio. There are many lessons to be learned, but curiosity and temptation keep getting Pinocchio into trouble when he meets up with the Puppet Master, Sly Foxx, Klever Katt, String Bean, the Donkey Children, and the Terrible Shark. Discover how a talking cricket and a magical friend help Pinocchio learn the importance of obedience, respect and telling the truth.

In early October, War of the Worlds, the infamous radio play based on the novel by H. G. Wells, will spellbind and nearly convince the audience that an actual alien invasion of Earth is taking place. The novel was first published, in hardcover, in 1898 and is one of the earliest stories involving mankind and extraterrestrial beings. On October 30, 1938, the actor, Orson Welles read an updated version on a live American radio broadcast that remains one of the most famous events in radio history.
Nosferatu, a poetic version of the Dracula story, will be one of the most important opera events in this region. Nosferatu returns to the Alberta Bair Theater stage on October 27, 2018.  Rimrock Opera Company produced its world premiere in 2004 at the ABT. Based on F.W. Murnau's classic 1922 vampire film, the opera retells the Dracula story from the perspective of a gifted woman in a tragedy she cannot prevent.

The Mikado, a well-known Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, will be performed by NOVA Youth singers. The Mikado is the story of Nanki-Poo, Yum-Yum, and Ko-Ko living in Japan. A year before the action of this opera begins, Nanki-Poo, son of the Mikado of Japan, flees his father's imperial court to escape marriage with Katisha, an elderly lady. Disguised as a traveling musician, he meets and falls in love with Yum-Yum, the young ward of Ko-Ko, a tailor in the town of Titipu. This operetta is the ninth collaboration between Gilbert and Sullivan.

Our Town is an American classic which tells the story of everyday life in the fictional town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. Our Town is a three-act play by American playwright Thornton Wilder. Mr. Morgan, the town druggist, acts as the narrator to tell the story of his town. The story he tells is one of life, love and death, universal to anywhere in the world.

Little Women, adapted from the Louisa May Alcott novel, is a timeless classic about the March sisters’ journey from childhood to maturity. Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March are four sisters living with their mother in New England. Their father is away serving as a chaplain in the Civil War, and the sisters struggle to support themselves and keep their household running despite the fact that the family recently lost its fortune.

NOVA's Festival of One-Act Operas includes Michael Ching’s Buoso’s Ghost, Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne, Offenbach’s Musical Evening at the Choufleuri’s  in March. Three very different one act operas all with the same result, unbridled humor.

Metamorphosis, is a thought provoking magical journey that delves into the powerful portrayal of youth.  Gregor Samsa is the main character of the story. He works as a salesman in order to provide money for his sister and parents. He wakes up one morning finding himself transformed into an insect. After the metamorphosis, Gregor becomes unable to work and is confined to his room for the remainder of the story. This prompts his family to begin working once again. Gregor is depicted as isolated from society and often misunderstands the true intentions of others.

Blodwen, the first opera written in Welsh, will be fully performed for the first time in the United States at NOVA. Following the pattern of romantic Italian opera, the story takes place in 14th century Wales and includes a wedding, lovers, dying heroes and a dramatic final twist. The opera’s stirring music shows Parry at his dramatic best: heroic and romantic solos, exciting ensembles, powerful choruses and of course, the famous ‘Hywel a Blodwen’ love duet which remains popular as a concert item. Orchestra members  will be utilizing the Dulais Rhys’s 2015 chamber version of the orchestration. Blodwen will be sung in Welsh with English supertitles May 10-19.

In June 2019, Much Ado About Nothing will be performed outdoors - weather permitting. Written by William Shakespeare, the comedy Much Ado About Nothing occurs during several days of a visit by Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, and his followers at the large estate of Leonato, Governor of Messina. Don Pedro has been victorious in a small war against his own half-brother, Don John, who has now (reluctantly) joined him."     
The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), Roald Dahl’s tale about the twenty four foot giant and little orphan, Sophie completes the season and is the youth summer show. Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant. Naturally scared at first, the young girl soon realizes that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming. As their friendship grows, Sophie's presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater and other giants. After traveling to London, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Victoria to help them get rid of all the bad giants once and for all.

NOVA’s two improvisational comedy troupes will perform throughout the season. Venture Improv and the Funky Bunch, the high school improv troupe, will also create scenes and songs for large audiences.
The season will also include four fundraising events: Reds, Whites, & Brews at NOVA; the Auction of Arias on Oct. 22 at McCormick Cafe; Love of the heArts on Feb. 14, 2019 at MōAV Coffee; and OperaFest on March 23, 2019, at Hilands Golf Club.

Box office hours are noon to 6 P.M. Tuesday through Friday. Those interested in volunteering this season are encouraged to call the NOVA Center for the Performing Arts at 406-591-9535.

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