Joplin Arts News (Oct. 12–18)

Heartland Opera Theatre Season Opener – Carmen

Heartland Opera Theatre 1

Carmen, one of the most beloved operas, will be produced by Heartland Opera Theatre (HOT) in Joplin. Featuring professional singers from around the country, the popular opera by Georges Bizet, will be performed Friday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Taylor Performing Arts Center at MSSU. A second performance will be presented on Sunday, October 25 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 at the door. Tickets for students (including college students with ID) are $10. Information and reservations may be obtained by contacting Heartland Opera Theatre at 417-782-4953.

First performed in Paris is 1875, Carmen has been performed countless times by national and regional opera companies all over the world. It features the memorable “Toreador Song”, the “Habanera,” and other familiar melodies.  “The Spanish setting filled with bull fighters, gypsies, soldiers and star-crossed lovers has something for everyone to enjoy,” says Nicholas Gilmore, Artistic Director of the Heartland Opera Theatre, “and the melodic and passionate music adds to an unforgettable evening of theatre.” Gilmore will be conducting the two performances.

Lisa ChavezThe role of Carmen will be sung by mezzo soprano Lisa Chevez. For the past two seasons she had been a principal resident artist with Opera San Jose in California, where she has performed Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Maddalena in Rigoletto, among others. She is a graduate of the Master’s Degree Program at the Manhattan School of Music. She has been praised for her “plush storm of a voice” and “graceful stage presence.”

Dustin PetersonTenor Dustin Peterson returns to Joplin to sing the role of the soldier and Carmen’s lover, Don Jose. Joplin audiences will remember his powerful performance in the role of Alfredo in HOT’s production of La Traviata last year. He has appeared recently in leading roles in Tosca, Otello,and Don Pasquale at the Wichita Grand Opera. Other performances include Winter Opera St. Louis and solos in symphonic and concert works with regional symphony orchestras.

Bernardo BermudeThe role of the toreador Escamillo will be sung by Bernado Mermudez, an American born lyric baritone raised in Venezuela. He has performed a wide range of operatic roles from Figaro in The Barber of Seville and Silvio in Pagliacci to Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. He also has performed with Los Angeles Opera’s Ring Festival, Opera North, and the Music Academy of the West.

Lacy SauterLacy Sauter, who will sing the role of Michaela, recently sang the lead role of Gilda in  Rigoletto at Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis. She completed her Master’s degree from Indiana University under the tutelage of world-renowned soprano Carol Vaness, and sang leading operatic roles in several University productions. She recently made her Atlanta Opera debut as Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, and has also spent two summers as an Apprentice Singer with the famed Santa Fe Opera.

The production is being staged and directed by Zeffin Quinn Hollis, a seasoned opera professional with wide-ranging experience in opera companies in the United States and abroad. He has appeared in two previous HOT productions, singing the role of Giorgio Germont in last year’s La Traviata and the previous year performing Tonio in Pagliacci.

In addition to the major artists, orchestra musicians and a large chorus of area singers including children are preparing for the performances. For addition al information, interested persons may email or visit HOT’s website

Small Works Auction Closing Party at Spiva

Spiva Center for the Arts 2015 Small Works Auction is drawing to a close. Have you secured your favorite? The infamous, “Closing Night Party” is coming up next week – Friday, October 23 from 5:30–7pm. Come make sure you get the piece you want! All artwork included in the auction goes to the highest bidder.

The Small Works Auction is Spiva’s most important art- and artist-driven event of the year, raising upwards of $10,000. This is the 18th year for the fundraiser. This year, 98 Spiva member artists created original works of art measuring 6”x 6”, 9” x 12” or 12” x 12” that were donated to the auction. Bidding is open to everyone, provided they register for a bid number at Spiva’s front desk. Bids may be placed in person at Spiva or online at, where photographs of the works are posted and high bids can be tracked. Online bidding ends at 3 p.m. Friday, October 23. Live bidding continues during the closing party.

Exhibit – Spiva Small Works 1

Opening bids begin at $35. For Rainmakers, the artists whose work has raised the highest amounts in past auctions, the opening bids start at $300. There is a “Buy It Now”option with artists setting their own prices for that option. The minimum “Buy It Now” amount is $125, and for Rainmakers, $500. 

While Small Works is not a juried auction, entries were judged for awards by Sandy Higgins, co-founder of artCentral and longtime director of Midwest Gathering of the Artists, both in Carthage, Missouri. The 2015 awards are as follows: Michele DeSutter, Juror’s Choice for Failed French Kiss; Ruth Miller, Best3-D for Surprised Farmer; Oliver Zerkel, Best Mixed Media for Reflecting on Sedan; Don Ayers, Best Photography for One Sunset; Judy Killion, Best Still Life or Floral for Flower Chaos; Val Snyder, Best Landscape or Plein Air for After the Rain, God’s Promise: and Suzie Higgs Harrison, Best Concept for Jazzed Up. A People’s Choice award will be awarded the night of the closing party. This year, the 2015 Small Works Auction is generously sponsored by Choice Marketing. 

Pro Musica Presents Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet

Pro Musica is gearing up for the second musical offering in their 2015–2016 season. The Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet will perform on Thursday, October 22, 7pm at First Methodist Church (4th & Byers in Joplin).

Performances – Pro Musica presents Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet

Since forming in 2010, the Donald Sinta Quartet (DSQ) has quickly achieved international renown for their recitals, concerts performances and completely memorized presentation. DSQ distinguished themselves on the competition circuit, making history by being the first saxophone quartet ever to win 1st Prize in the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in New York City, having been chosen by a unanimous vote of the jury. The group also received the Alice Coleman Grand Prize in at the 2013 Coleman International Competition in Los Angeles, and 1st Prize at the North American Alliance Saxophone Quartet Competition in Arizona.  Equally committed to education and community engagement, the quartet has presented clinics and performances at numerous colleges and universities. 

While in Joplin DSQ will present several outreach events at local schools, assisted living centers or other locations. Pro Musica’s concerts are open to the public at no charge – donations appreciated. Financial assistance for the Donald Sinta Quartet’s appearance in Joplin is provided, in part, by Teresa and Richard Massa, and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.  Outreach activity sponsored, in part, by Con-way Truckload and the Rusty Smith Memorial Fund.

Navigating Your MAC Grant Workshop

logoInterested in receiving funding from the Missouri Arts Council (MAC)? Every year, MAC hosts workshops in cities throughout Missouri. Learn how to navigate through the MAC grant process by joining them this fall at Spiva Center for the Arts on Tuesday, November 17 from 3–5pm.

Who should attend? Eligible organizations (Missouri-based, tax-exempt only) looking for funding for arts projects who are not familiar with the Missouri Arts Council application process, or who have previously applied and not received satisfactory panel scores. Those who have previously applied and are familiar with the process do not need to attend.

Each two-hour workshop covers basic information on MAC grants, both monthly and annual, eligibility, creating an online profile in the updated grant system, the application and panel process, preparing support materials and how to address narrative questions. If you have never applied for MAC funding, or seek to improve your grant application, you will benefit from attending this free workshop. FY2017 is from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. FY2017 is an on-year for these grant programs: Arts Education, Arts Services, Dance, Minority Arts, Theater, and Visual Arts.. The deadline for applications for annual grants for FY2017 is February 29, 2016. The workshop is free, but attendees are asked to register in advance. Questions? Call or email program specialists Courtney Schlueter, 314-340-6858,, or Jill Williams, 314-340-6857, 

Phoenix Fired Art’s Fourth Annual “Empty Bowls” Fundraiser

It’s about time again, folks! Mark your calendars NOW for this years “Empty Bowls” fundraiser at Phoenix Fired Art – Thursday, November 19! Lunch will be served from 11am–1:30pm and dinner will be served from 5–7:30pm.

“Empty Bowls” is the perfect opportunity to enjoy local artwork, tasty soups, and help alleviate hunger in our community. Pay a minimum donation of $15, select your favorite handmade ceramic bowl, and fill it with your choice of delicious soup from one of our area’s many local restaurants! Did we mention you get to keep the bowl as a reminder of your generous donation to help people in need? All proceeds will be split evenly between organizations working to alleviate hunger in our area: Crosslines, Salvation Army, Watered Gardens and  Meals on Wheels. Want to buy a bowl early? Bowl presales are a $25 minimum donation and begin October 20th. “Empty Bowls” is generously sponsored by Leggett and Platt, Inc. and SMB, Downstream Casino, Empire Electric, Oasis Salon and Day Spa.

Empty Bowls

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