Opera gives itself a helping hand | News, Sports, Jobs

Opera theater

FAIRMONT – While the Fairmont Opera House is still grappling with the effects of Covid, it recently received a boost in support in the form of an arts and cultural heritage grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council.

Opera’s executive director Blake Potthoff said they were no strangers to this organization.

“They have supported us a lot and their grants have helped us in recent years. They are very supportive of the arts in our region ”, said Potthoff.

The $ 13,000 grant will allow the Opera to present two shows. The premiere will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday October 2.

“The Okee Dokee Brothers are a Grammy Award-winning music group. They won Grammys for two of their albums. They are five times winner of the Parent’s Choice Award ”, said Potthoff.

He said they are family music songwriters who focus much of their music outdoors.

“The fact that we are working with them is just amazing. They are very talented. They bring their quartet and their bassist, Liz Draper, is actually from Fairmont ”, said Potthoff.

In the spring, Fairytales on Ice will be presented at the Fairmont Opera House.

“It’s going to be a dance show, but they’re putting artificial ice on our stage. It’s something we’ve never done before. There will be ice skating at the Opera “, said Potthoff.

The grant donation and the upcoming show are good news for the opera after two shows were canceled this month.

“The groups that we bring are not from our community, so we have to do it and they have to think about where they are coming from and where are they going and what kind of exposure they could bring to our community and with whom they could go. , too much,” said Potthoff.

He said they try to be careful and cognitive about how Covid spreads and sometimes it’s in the best interest to cancel and move on as it’s difficult to control the situation.

“It’s unfortunate but this is the world we are in right now”, he said.

Potthoff said Covid forced them to change and do things differently and that security is still a concern, pandemic or not, for artists and for patrons.

However, he said, to cope with the changes and cancellations, they have focused more on local talent by holding drama workshops for young people more frequently. They also have another Fairmont Area Community Theater adult show coming up next month.

“We try to focus on local talent because the local talent is there. We don’t have to worry about touring. This will help keep cancellations to a minimum ”, said Potthoff.

Tickets for the next Okee Dokee Brothers show and all other shows can be purchased online at fairmontoperahouse.org.

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