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Sip and Sing | Denver Performing Arts Photography

Denver performing arts photography is never boring. There are so many fun and unique events going on in this city, on any given night. Like an opera concert in a jazz club with food and wine! These events have become a staple of Opera Colorado’s season. They have events like these all throughout the year, not just their mainstage opera productions. And some of the events are actually free! Sip and Sing is a really fun event series that combines opera arias, wine, and food, in an amazing urban setting.

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This event took place at Nocturne, in the RiNo Arts District. Nocturne is a jazz club in an industrial building with a stage area and an upper-level atrium that overlooks it. They serve amazing food and drinks in the evening. There’s even a grand piano, which is always fun to photograph. It is such an eclectic and beautiful space!

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Similar to the last wine and opera event at the Balistreri Vineyards, there were three curated sets: each set included three arias sung by Opera Colorado’s Young Artists and was paired with a different wine, hand picked to complement the music by an in-house sommelier. This time, there were food pairings as well. Guests were treated to a three course meal during the concert, one course for each set of arias and each glass of wine. After the concert, was a little after party on the top level, with dessert and mingling, while a jazz band played for dinners below.

Opera Colorado is doing more of these Sip and Sing events throughout the year. They had one at the Preservery and another back at Nocturne, just last month. You won’t want to miss the next one!

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Lucia di Lammamoore | Denver Performing Arts Photography

Each year, I photograph the Student Matinee at Opera Colorado. This show is performed by the Opera Colorado Young Artists for an audience of students from elementary and high schools around Colorado. It’s an amazing opportunity for students to see professional opera production on the main stage. In past years, students got the chance to see Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Lori Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter. Denver performing arts photography can present a few challenges so I wanted to go into my approach to photographing this show.

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The unusual thing about this performance is that there is no time for a dress rehearsal. The Young Artists only perform this show one time, on stage, and that is in front of a full audience. This is a huge challenge for them but you would never guess it. They always perform amazingly for the students! It’s also a challenge for me! Photographing with a live audience isn’t always preferred because it can be difficult to get the photos I need, without being disruptive. There are a few steps I take to make sure I stay quiet and out of the way, while still making the best images possible.

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I always dress in black, head to toe. If you know me, you know this is very out of character! I love wearing colorful clothes, but for these performances, I need to blend into the darkness. I also know this theater well, so I know where I can be that is out of the way and what paths to take. I set up a little home base, that is very out of the way of the audience. It’s also right in the center of the theater, so it’s perfect for getting wide-angle photos to show the whole scene and the set.

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Seeing a show before photographing it, is really helpful because I can plan where to be when and what angle and lens I want to use at each point in the show. I’m always able to see this opera (performed by the mainstage artists) before photographing the Student Matinee, which is great. I do move around the theater a lot when I photograph performances, but I’m able to gauge the best times to move without being disruptive. I also make sure I crouch down as much as possible, in the aisles so I’m not blocking anyone’s view. I’m always aware of the music and I try to click during the loudest points and keep it to a minimum during the quiet moments.

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It’s usually ideal to photograph a performance during a dress rehearsal, but that isn’t always an option. A lot of times companies don’t have access to the theater before the show opens. Sometimes, the show isn’t quite polished off until the audience is in their seats. Photographing with an audience can be the best option, in some cases. Using these methods, I haven’t heard any audience complaints, and I’m still able to get a wide variety of images for my clients!

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Lucia di Lammermoor Cast and Crew

Opera by Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano
Conductor: Andres Caldera
Stage Director: Jordan Braun
Lighting Designer: Lucas Krech
Wig and Makeup Design: Ronell Oliveri
Accompanist: Parisa Zaeri
Young Artist Director: Cherity Koepke

Lucia: Allison Nicholas
Edgardo: Omar Najmi
Alisa: Danielle Lombardi
Narrator/Normanno: Ryan Bradford
Enrico: Charles Eaton
Arturo: Brett Sprague
Raimondo: Matthew Trevino

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Naropa’s MFA Thesis Festival | Colorado Theater Photography

The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise: Youth is Not the Only Thing That’s Sonic was the first play I photographed for Naropa University’s MFA Thesis Festival. One of the things I love most about Colorado theater photography and photographing for Naropa is getting the chance to see these performing artists grow and develop over their years in school. I hope to see them out in the theater world too, now that they’ve graduated! Congrats to the graduates of the Naropa School of the Arts Theater Program!

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About The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise: Youth is Not the Only Thing That’s Sonic: “Give a performer time & space to express their authentic presence. This play does that, if nothing else, and there’s a lot else. It lulls us into a semi-sleep state, then surprisingly wakes us up to repeatedly question & challenge our realities. There’s something elegant about the way each character deals with their existential crises. The vehicles that carry us through our presence and language. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a vessel for what spirit & soul express through me. It never has been, nor ever will be about me. That’s something I often forget, then re-learn again & again the way humans do. The acting process is closely related to the cycle of life & death. We create an imaginary self and give it bodily form. Then that form dissolves once the show is over. If we’re aware, we learn something about what it means to be human in the process.”

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Creative Credits:

Written by Toshiki Okada
Translated by Aya Ogawa
Directed by Michael Mayes
Actor 1: Michael Mayes
Actor 2: Mark Gibson
Actor 3: Dennis Kerr
Actress 1: Victoria González
Actress 2: Karena Lyn

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

Summer Moving Project | Denver Dance Photography

I love being able to capture talented artists of all ages. Denver dance photography is my way of interpreting the creativity of local performing artists and create everlasting memories out of their art. These photos can be used by the company to promote their show and their school, as well as by the performers for their portfolio. They also serve as a wonderful memento for the dancers and their parents. This past summer, I was given the opportunity to photograph a student production in Broomfield, Colorado and I was blown away by the performance.

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Summer Moving Project is Colorado Conservatory of Dance‘s annual summer showcase. Colorado Conservatory of Dance has dance classes for students from ages one to adulthood. Their studios are in Broomfield, just down the street from where I used to live! They have two main performances each year, their Nutcracker performance and the Summer Moving Project. This is the students’ chance to show off what they’ve been learning throughout the school year. The middle and high school students performed in a beautiful multi-piece show at the Broomfield Auditorium, in July.

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I was so impressed by the skill and creativity of these young dancers. They bring so much passion to their performances. Everything, from the costumes to the music and lighting was professional and well thought out. The pieces were fun, emotional, silly, and upbeat. There were various pieces performed by the different age groups and the show ended with a final piece involving all the students in the show. Overall, it was an exceptional show!

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The image above is one of my favorites from the show. I love the layering of the three dancers and the strong emotion they each evoke in their movement. The lighting adds an additional level of drama to this dance photo.

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

Elixer of Love |Colorado Performing Arts Photography

Each year, Opera Colorado‘s Young Artists take two operas on the road. Cherity Koepke the Director of the Young Artist Program and Brett Sprague the Assistant Director adapt and restage the shows to work with an audience of school children. They’ve been introducing new shows into the mix, and last year’s new production was Elixer of Love. It’s a funny story about con-artists, love triangles, and root beer saloons. As a Colorado performing arts photographer, I was called in to photograph the show for marketing materials.

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Each season, the Young Artists go on a tour around Colorado. They pack up the set, props, costumes, and themselves in a van and drive all over the state. They performing operas at middle schools and high schools in rural areas and mountain towns. So many of these kids have never seen an opera before. These photos were used to market the show to schools who wanted the opera to perform for their students. They’re also used to attract audience members to the annual Family Day event and to encourage donors to sponsor a Young Artist.

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Since this show is a touring production, that goes to school auditoriums across the state, we didn’t have a formal performance space to photograph in. Instead, we used their rehearsal space, the Studio Loft at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. There is some natural light in the space but no stage lights. With performing arts photography, you have to be adaptable. So I brought my own equipment to give the photos a more production feel to them. I have a very portable light set up that works perfectly for events and small performances like this!

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

Local Lab 2017 | Boulder Theater Photography

Local Theater Company, in Boulder, puts on an incredible new-works festival each year called Local Lab. On Saturday of this year’s festival, they had a mainstage reading of Shostakovich, or Silence by Jason Grote and directed by Pesha Rudnick at the Dairy Arts Center. After the reading, the writer and director had a talk back with the audience, followed by an after party with food and an awesome DJ. The talk back was really constructive and Jason and Pesha revealed how the show all came together at the last minute.

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The party was a lot of fun, with great food and amazing music by DJ Savior Breath. Everyone was in chatting and laughing and discussing the reading. The party spilled out into the lobby and gallery of the Dairy Arts Center. Right as I was leaving, the lights went low and everyone started dancing!

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I loved that Local Lab had me come in for the talk back and after party. Since there was no rehearsal for the reading, I would have had to photograph it live, with the audience, which could have been disruptive. This way, I still got photos of the production team speaking on stage and of the ambiance in the room. Plus since the lights were on in the audience, I was able to get photos of the patron engaged and happy.

http://www.jamiekraus.com/

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It’s always good to have a photographer at events like after parties too. These photos are great for drawing crowds to future events, sharing with attendees, and posting on social media sites like facebook. They can also be used in future marketing materials to show happy patrons, crowds, and ambiance.

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http://www.jamiekraus.com/

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

A Horseman’s Magic 2 | Boulder Theater Photography

This year, the Theater Program at Naropa University was so big, they needed to do two versions of their showcase, each with a different cast. I love seeing this amazing program grow. This show was done in the style of Beijing Opera and was full of fun movement and awesome plot twists. Here is cast B of A Horseman’s Magic at Naropa University.

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Cast B – Performed on 2/15/17 and 2/17/17

Zhuoma: Chie Saito
Jinma: Madelyn Rose Robinson
Horseman: Joshua Lorris
Landlord: China Young
King: Drew Piatek
Guards: Rebecca Buckley and Gabriela Petrov
Horsemen Dance: Rebecca Buckley, Michael Mayes, Landin Melendez, Gabriela Petrov
King’s Court Dance: Jade Garisch and Annabel Turrado

Crew

Directed by International Guest Artist Xu Jiali
Writen by William Huizhu Sun & Faye C. Fei
Stage Manager/Lighting Design: Jake Cacciatore
Assistant Production Manager: Michael Blendermann
Assistant Stage Manager: Leo Soula-Hutchinson
King’s Court Dance: Jade Garisch and Annabel Turrado
Composers: Jade Garisch, Mark Gibson, Michael Mayes,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, China Young
Musicians: Percussion by Michael Mayes and Ukulele by Jade Garisch
Choreographers: Joshua Lorris, Drew Piatek, Chie Saito
Set Design: Michael Sater
Sound Design Assistance: Landin Melendez
Props: Gabriela Petrov and Rebecca Buckley
Costume Design: Kristin Marie Stelter
Costume Crew: Rebecca Buckley, Landin Melendez, Ashley Rice,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, Michael Sater, K. Woodzick

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets?  Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.