How do you spell mellow? Street opera on the street behind the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City. We opted out of the hill climb to the cheap seats to hear Willie Nelson at Red Butte in favor of a much more civilized cultural experience featuring soprano Genevieve Christianson and baritone Christopher Holmes, accompanied by Lawrence Gee.
Dressed to the nines, native New Yorker Christianson and Holmes performed tunes from Porgy & Bess and The Magic Flute, but not before Gee wowed the sparse crowd with "Claire de Lune." The three have extensive performance experience with professional opera companies throughout the United States. Since my son lives in New York City, I could relate to Christianson's clever song about living in the tiny, not-so-sound-proof New York apartment.
But wait ... no dancing at the foot of the stage? Alas, no. But I got rather fidgety and we did saunter behind the chairs to view a photography exhibit featuring the work of 25 artist photographers promoted by the Salt City 50, a group which promotes photographers in venues where wide audiences may appreciate their work.
Broadway & Opera Under the Stars was a gentle reminder that the musical world is a rainbow of many colors. It was a reminder I've not seen and heard my favorite opera, Orpheus and the Underworld, since I was 17, and that was a very long time ago. Moreover, Christianson and Holmes didn't miss a beat, which made hearing their brief performance completely worthwhile, even if it was a mellow departure from the usual Friday night rockfest.