Festival season begins with Peter Pan

The official season for the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre begins in July but for founding General Director Michael Ballam it began early when he played the role of Captain Hook in a recent preview of the musical Peter Pan at the newly-renovated Utah Theater.

The production opens to the public Friday. Although the Ellen Eccles Theatre is downtown Logan will be the setting for most of the mainstage offerings, there will be plays, concerts and other events held in the Utah Theater during and after the festival.

Peter Pan opens at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and there is a 1 p.m. matinee on Saturday along with other performances, all featuring Ballam as Captain Hook.

Utah Festival Operations Manager Gary Griffin says there will be other opportunities to enjoy Peter Pan at the Utah Theater as well as opportunities to enjoy several operas, concerts and other performances and events.

Griffin says one of those events will be the annual Gala which will be held on Saturday, July 9.

“It’s a fundraiser for us,” Griffin explains. “It’s down at Riverwoods. It will be a marvelous meal. We’ll have entertainment by some of the performers from the opera company. I think it will be an enjoyable time. If you buy tickets to that you can get a discount to see Ragtime that evening.”

Griffin says there are actually 1660 different activities to be held in connection with the festival this year. He says he would like to see more local residents attend these events.

“We get about 25% of our patrons from Cache Valley. Another 25% come from elsewhere in Utah,” says Griffin. “The other 50% come from outside the state of Utah. Last year we had patrons from 38 different states. So they come here because they know they are going to see quality, professional theater.”

Griffin says the four mainstage productions in the Eccles Theatre will begin with Puccini’s Trilogy on Wednesday, July 6. The others are Porgy & Bess, Show Boat and Ragtime. Griffin says there are actually 160 different events including classes, concerts and special programs.

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