The Arizona Opera opens the 2015/2016 season with the premiere of “Arizona Lady”

This lively 1953 operetta follows the story of a horse raised in Tucson that defies all odds to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby. Emmerich Kálmán, the Jewish Hungarian composer of the piece, moved to Hollywood to write movie music after fleeing Nazi persecution during World War II. He also spent a great deal of time in the Southwest, declaring Arizona Lady his tribute and love letter to a land he fondly missed after returning to postwar Europe.

Arizona Opera opens their 2015-16 season in Tucson with the heralded premiere of Arizona Lady. Never before performed by a major U.S. opera house, this original production has even prompted the composer’s daughter, Yvonne Kálmán, to travel to Tucson to see her father’s work realized. The Arizona Opera League Tucson is celebrating this special premiere with three exclusive events collectively titled The Arizona Lady Fiestas.

We begin in partnership with The Tucson Museum of Art for an event called Rediscovered Voices on Sunday, September 26 from 11:00 a.m. to noon. This concert and lecture will feature performances by Arizona Opera Singers accompanied by Arizona based composer Craig Bohmler. After a break for lunch, the program continues at 2:00 p.m. with an exploration of music by Jewish refugee composers.

Celebrations continue with a very unique culinary event, The Bourbon Tasting Dinner, at Agustin Kitchen (100 South Avenida del Convento) on Sunday, September 20. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., this exclusive dinner will be a five course tour de force utilizing bourbon as the key ingredient and libation. The cost for this event is $95 per person with an amazing silent auction at the end of the evening to round out the fun!

Finally, in the grand fashion befitting a day at the races, Derby in the Desert will close the Arizona Lady Fiestas with a Kentucky Derby style party at Skyline Country Club. We invite you to join us on Sunday, October 4 at 5:00 p.m. for Mint Juleps, sweet tea and the lively sounds of a four piece Bluegrass band. Indulge in traditional, Louisville inspired hors d’ oeuvres before enjoying your choice of bourbon glazed beef short ribs or seared salmon with citrus Beurre Blanc and top off your meal with a fabulous dessert. A silent and live auction will also take place and the classic songs of Steven Foster will be performed by singers from the Arizona Opera. The cost of the evening is $125 per person, $50 of which is tax deductible. All proceeds benefit arts education in southern Arizona.

Arizona Lady premieres in Tucson on Saturday evening, October 10 and Sunday afternoon, October 11. Tickets for the performances are available or 520-293-4336.

For more information, or to make a reservation for the Arizona Lady Fiestas, please email [email protected] or call 520-99-8232. The Arizona Opera League Tucson welcomes you to the world of opera in Tucson!