Three Decembers - why you have to see this opera

Okay, so let's cut to the chase:  as the Artistic Director of this company, I want you come to all of our shows.  We spend a lot of time choosing great operas to perform, we find great singers to sing in them, and then we work hard to make our productions top notch.  So, yeah, I would encourage you to see all of our shows.

But, having said that, you REALLY need to come to see Three Decembers on May 11 and 13 at the Freede Little Theatre at the Civic Center.  This is an opera unlike any opera on which I have worked before.  It shows us where opera is today - vital and exciting and connected with real-life issues that are relevant to us in our time.  Three Decembers follows the story of Madeline Mitchell, an aging Broadway diva who has neglected her kids as she built her career.  Now as adults, her son and daughter try to work out their relationship to their mother while dealing with their own issues.  Madeline disapproves of her son's sexual orientation and passively aggressively "forgets" the name of his partner who also has AIDS.  Meanwhile, her daughter idolizes the memory of her father, who died when she was young, as she deals with her own unhappy marriage.  In the midst of this drama, the family does what every family does: argue, tease, joke, laugh, cry, and ultimately love each other.

This is an opera that everyone can relate to.  But, that's not the only reason you should see it.  You should see Three Decembers because Jake Heggie's music and Gene Scheer's words are fantastic. Really, truly, spectacularly fantastic. Heggie is so great at writing music that brings characters to full three-dimensional stature.  The music of Three Decembers is at times funny, heartbreaking, inspiring, angry, and playful.  Scheer writes clever and moving words that allows the three characters to sound like real people that we might talk to on a daily basis.  Truly, Three Decembers is an opera that will appeal to lovers of traditional opera as well as those who have never seen an opera before.

But, don't take my word for it.  Go to Heggie's website at and see some of the praise that accompanies the opera. There's a reason why reviewers have said such things about Three Decembers as: 

"’s hard to imagine any work in recent years that has filled us with so much hope for the survival of the art form."  - ARTS HOUSTON MAGAZINE, John DeMers

"Three Decembers is a modern masterpiece."  -  OPERA TODAY, Wes Blomster 

"...the finest modern opera I’ve seen. Who said that no one is writing enchantingly wonderful new operas? See Jake Heggie’s marvelous new work, it’ll dazzle you.  Add Three Decembers to your list of 'must see' operas." - CHICAGOCRITIC.COM, Tom Williams

Well, since you must see it, we'd love for you to come see Painted Sky Opera's production on May 11 and 13.  Tickets are available online or at the Civic Center box office.