Eastern Idahoans often think of opera as entertainment you find in bigger cities. But thanks to hundreds of great neighbors who volunteer their time and talents, local people can enjoy opera presented by local talent.
The Idaho Falls Opera Theatre is presenting the comic opera Gianni Schicchi. One of the founders of the opera theatre 35 years ago was Joan Tallman.
"When I came to this community, Idaho Falls, there was a wonderful symphony and there were a few other small groups going on, but there wasn't anything that would involve trained singers in opera in particular, and I thought, we need to do something," Tallman said.
Tallman is still going strong today in the Opera Theatre. And she credits the thousands of people involved over those years for its success.
"It involves so many people and so many that actually volunteer their time because they love it, and I've been doing that for 35 years and I'm still doing it," Tallman said.
Rob Fornam has been with the Opera Theatre since the beginning. He's played 48 roles over the years performing with friends and neighbors.
"Dozens of people backstage doing the beautiful sets, the orchestra members, everybody that does all the rest of it, and then the audience - it gives the community a chance to enjoy this wonderful art form and it's their friends and neighbors who are out there," Fornam said.
Music conductor Roger Evans began performing as a child, when his parents were involved.
"Rehearsals for the Opera Theatre was a normal evening experience, Fornam said. “I was in children's choruses and it was a great way to grow up."
It's great neighbors like these that bring culture to Eastern Idaho and make our community a little better place to live.