Russian ballet and an opera of biblical proportions are coming to town for the Wichita Grand Opera’s spring season.
The organization recently announced its spring season, highlighted by Tchaikovsky’s “The Sleeping Beauty” and Benjamin Britten’s “Noah’s Flood.”
This spring, the opera will venture into new territory – an east-side Lutheran church.
Its performance of “Noah’s Flood” – sometimes stylized “Noye’s Fludde” by people including filmmaker Wes Anderson, who clearly has an appreciation for Britten’s work – will be staged at both Holy Cross Lutheran Church and the McPherson Opera House in June.
Britten wrote his biblical works specifically to be performed in churches – hence the staging at Holy Cross, said Parvan Bakardiev, Wichita Grand Opera president and CEO.
“That was by necessity, by requirement,” Bakardiev said. “They’re biblical stories, but also another reason: In the orchestrations, he uses a lot of elements that churches have – the organ, the church bells and other elements of the music that we cannot do otherwise.”
For those looking for an especially fancy night out, VIP tickets will be sold to the June 9 production of “Noah’s Flood” that include a dinner package at the Wichita Country Club.
“When the facility lends itself, like Bradley Fair, they eat actually at the performance because there’s a restaurant there,” Bakardiev said. “(The Wichita Country Club) has a great buffet and there’s parking spaces there. It’s close (to Holy Cross), it’s convenient, and they were willing to work with us on the price.”
The only performance to be staged at Century II’s Concert Hall this spring will be the return of the Russian National Ballet Theatre in “The Sleeping Beauty” on April 23.
Bakardiev said he has found Wichita audiences prefer classical ballets like “The Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake” and “Cinderella.”
So why deviate from what works?
“Those ballets are difficult to present and produce, because it takes a lot of time, training, support and ability,” Bakardiev said. “And our audience enjoys – just like in the opera field – they like traditional productions.”
In between “The Sleeping Beauty” and “Noah’s Flood,” the Wichita Grand Opera will host its Champagne Ball fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Wichita on May 6.
Wichita Grand Opera spring season
▪ Tchaikovsky’s “The Sleeping Beauty,” as performed by the Russian National Ballet Theatre – 6:30 p.m. April 23, Century II Concert Hall, 225 W. Douglas
▪ Wichita Grand Opera Champagne Ball – 6 p.m. May 6, Hyatt Regency Wichita, 400 W. Waterman
▪ Britten’s “Noah’s Flood” – 8 p.m. June 9, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 600 N. Greenwich
▪ Britten’s “Noah’s Flood” – 6 p.m. June 11, McPherson Opera House, 219 S. Main, McPherson
Season tickets are now on sale from $70 to $348. Individual tickets also are available. For more information, call the Wichita Grand Opera box office at 316-262-8054 or visit www.wichitagrandopera.org.