The Flagstaff Light Opera Company is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Over the last two-decades, the FLOC has performed some 60 shows, including songs from well-known and beloved musicals, like The King and I and Sound of Music. On Friday night, the company will showcase its talent in a medley performance, commemorating the special anniversary. Arizona Public Radio’s Aaron Granillo stopped by a recent rehearsal, as the FLOC prepared for the show.
The Flagstaff Federated Church is filled with opera singers, getting ready for the concert. They shuffle sheets of music, and warm up their voices.
Aimee Lucas-Bollinger will perform four songs for the opera’s 20th anniversary show.
"'I still believe' from Miss Saigon. I am singing, 'There are worse things I could do' from Grease. 'Adelaide’s Lament' from Guys and Dolls. And I will be singing a part in 'Tradition' from Fiddler," Lucas-Bollinger says. "I like them all equally. They’re all very different, but I think Guys and Dolls was the most fun."
The Flagstaff Light Opera Company was founded in 1995 by a small group of musical theatre enthusiasts. Their mission was to bring the songs of Broadway to the little mountain town of Flagstaff. Pianist Charly Spining is one of the founding members.
"We just wanted to have a community group that specialized in music. And, we were all fans of Gilbert and Sullivan, which is a genre in itself. Then we branched out into Broadway and other things," says Spining.
The FLOC will perform some classic songs on Friday, like “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma. The company will also perform more contemporary songs from plays like Rent and Grease. Spining says diversity of musical styles and eras helps keep light opera relevant in a society that’s big on pop music.
"There will be a whole new generation of theatre goers 20 years from now, so who knows what they’ll really be in to, and I might still be around," Spining says. “I’ll be 95 by then. I hope to still be at it."
The Flagstaff Light Opera Company performs its 20th anniversary concert on Friday, August 14th at Flagstaff Federated Community Church. The show starts at 7 p.m.