Inside Opera Colorado’s ‘Scarlet Letter’ preview

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Photo: Scarlet Letter Opera Colorado preview
Daniel DeVicente, Leah Bobbey and Brett Sprague sing at a concert reading of Opera Colorado's upcoming production of "The Scarlet Letter."

Opera Colorado won't debut its new opera "The Scarlet Letter" for more than a year, but the organization gave a concert preview of the music earlier this month at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

The audience heard performances of composer Lori Laitman's music by singers playing seamstress Hester Prynne, minister Arthur Dimmesdale and doctor Roger Chillingworth.

"I would hope other people find it not only beautiful but dramatic -- something that's truly a union of words and music that really gets at the meaning of the story and affects you," Laitman said.

Leah Bobbey, who sang the part of Hester, said "The Scarlet Letter" is proof that opera is alive and well.

She pointed to adaptations of other American literary classics -- including Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" and John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Of Mice and Men" -- as further evidence.

"We are seeing these classic American stories given a voice," Bobbey said. "It's really exciting to be a part of a project with a female American composer telling a classic American story."

Opera Colorado's production of "The Scarlet Letter" opens in May 2016. David Mason, a former Colorado poet laureate, wrote the libretto based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 novel.

Click the audio above for more interviews from Bobbey and Laitman and to hear music from the run-through. And check out these excerpts from the preview: