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West Jordan Journal

Have a ball at Lyrical Opera’s Masquerade Party fundraiser

Oct 02, 2018 12:36PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Fanciful attire will be on full display in this year’s Masquerade Party. (Lyrical Opera)

By Bob Bedore | bob@mycityjournals.com

October is often looked at as a month where it’s common to go to a party wearing a mask or some other elaborate costume, but for those who really want to party, a masquerade ball is the only way to do it. 

On Oct. 20, the Cottonwood Country Club will transport you back in time for what promises to be an evening of intrigue and fantasy like few others you can experience. The night will feature people in great, period costumes, food, singing, waltzing, polkas, magic and games. No word yet on an appearance by the Red Death. 

The event is a fundraiser for Lyrical Opera’s spring 2019 production of Verdi’s great opera “La Traviata,” one of the most beloved operas in the world. By attending the event, patrons are helping keep a great local production company providing operatic entertainment at an affordable cost. Last year’s Masquerade Party sold out, so get your tickets early. 

Masquerade Balls have been around for centuries and gained a prominent footing in Italy during the 16th century Renaissance. The upper class would hold elaborate dances that featured the added game of guests being masked. Party-goers would spend the evening trying to guess each other’s identities. The parties spread to the attention of the world and have been featured in every level of culture, including the “Gilmore Girls.” 

This Masquerade Party will begin with a buffet hors d’oeurves during which the guests will be invited to play a witty, 19th century game of “Who am I?” From there song and dance will rule the night. The singing will be provided by some of Lyrical Opera’s performers and a ballroom dance instructor will be on hand to teach some simple steps, ensuring no one is left out of the fun. There will also be a silent auction table with great items to be won and a magician that will stroll through the crowd, entertaining them with up-close magic. 

Tickets for the event will be $35 each and can be obtained by visiting LyricalOperaTheater.com. As the event did sell out early last year, you should get them quickly. 

If you are unable to attend this function but still want to help out, you can join the Lyrical Opera Theater Opera Guild. The company is a 501(c)(3) arts education charity and is always looking for volunteers and business sponsors. The talent comes from all over Utah and their singers can be found performing at private parties, funerals, weddings or anywhere else they’re asked to sing.

The fundraiser will help bring “La Traviata” to the stage. It is currently scheduled for the spring of 2019 and will be performed at the Midvale Performing Arts Center. The opera is based on a novel by Alexandre Dumas and the title translates to “the woman who strayed,” or “the fallen woman.” It tells the story of Violetta, a high-class courtesan who is brought into the fashionable society of Paris by a man who loves her. It is actually featured in the film “Pretty Woman,” which has some similarities in plot.

The opera has a great party scene in Act One, likely close to the one those attending the Masquerade Party will find. It also features some of Verdi’s best music. The Aria sung by Violetta in Act Three is impressive. There is also a scene in Act Two where Violetta is pressured to break up with her fiancé Alfredo by his father because of her past. The duet that is shared in this scene is wonderful.