Stillwater residents, especially the music enthusiasts among them, can soon look forward to a new means of saying goodbye to the old year and hello to the new one. On Dec. 31, Operatunity Theatre will host Sing in the New Year, a festive concert featuring holiday tunes, along with classics from both musical theater and, of course, opera.
Operatunity Theatre, started by husband and wife team Obed Floan and Megan Wagner, is an opera and musical theater company that hopes to establish the St. Croix Valley as a regional music and cultural center. It launched this summer with the inaugural Opera on the River, an outdoor opera concert headlined by Stillwater native Jack Swanson. With Sing in the New Year, the company wants to add another event to its roster of annual festivities.
This isn't the first time Sing in the New Year will take place; it was started by Swanson and fellow tenor and Stillwater native Clark Weyrauch several years ago and has since been resurrected by Operatunity.
“When we started Operatunity Theatre, as Jack is our creative advisor, he wanted the opera company to take on Sing in the New Year and bring it back and produce it officially,” Floan said. “We've taken that under our purview as a second annual event.”
It also fits with the company's broader vision of showcasing the musical talent of the Stillwater area.
“We hope to build and create great traditions for Stillwater,” Floan said. “With this event, we want to create a New Year's Eve tradition for the community to have in their own backyard, rather than race into the metro to celebrate.”
In addition to Swanson and Weyrauch, Sing in the New Year stars sopranos Katherine Henly, Anna Mandina and Carolyn Hoehle; mezzo-soprano Caroline Hewitt; tenor Keith Browning; baritone Michael Hewitt and pianist Gretchen Perkins. A 1920s-themed after-party at the Water Street, which features dinner, dancing, live music and a midnight champagne toast will follow.
“Suffice it to say that the party's on,” Floan said. “We're very excited about this event.”
Sing in the New Year starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 115 N. 4th St., Stillwater. Tickets range from $30 to $40 and can be purchased online at operatunity-theatre.ticketleap.com/sitny or through voice mail at 612-404-9265. More information about the event can be found at operatunitytheatre.org/sitny2019