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

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STX by Close Act Theater | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

What I love most about the Colorado Performing Arts scene is that there is so much variety. You can find anything you’re looking for, from family-friendly to risque, traditional to very unusual, local to international. And the best art can be found all over the state, not just in Denver or Boulder. Breckenridge has an incredible art scene year round, so if you think it’s just a ski town, think again.

Close Act Theater is a performing arts company in the Netherlands. They came to Breckenridge for the Breckenridge International Art Festival and performed two shows, STX and Saurus. They did two shows a day, for a week! I can’t imagine how tired they must have been at the end. This show was so much fun, I saw it three times! Each show was different from the one before it. They interacted with the audience and the space so well. This was definitely a family friendly event, and the kids in the audience had a blast. All the adults did too. Everyone was following them around, taking pictures, in awe of everything,

It can actually be really helpful to see a show before photographing it. That way I can plan out where I need to be when, what moments are the most important, and how to photograph each piece. I tend to run around a lot when I photograph dress rehearsals, in order to always get the most dynamic angle. This show was no different, since it was so immersive. The performers and audience members were moving around the whole time, all throughout Breckenridge’s main square.

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

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At A Crossroads Rehearsal | Denver Dance Photography

Park Hill Dance Academy’s At A Crossroads dress rehearsal was just beautiful. A couple months earlier, we did a promotional creative session for this show, which was so much fun. Park Hill used those photos to promote the show on social media, and one of the images was used for the show’s poster. The student’s parents were so excited. Many of them helped out at the promo shoot and some of them came to watch the end of the dress rehearsal too.

At A Crossroads was performed at the Vintage Theater in Aurora, Colorado. In the first half of the show, all the students and a few company members danced together in a beautiful, moving piece. Some parts were performed by the younger students, some by the older students, and in some parts, everyone was dancing together on stage. It was really great to see students from different classes coming together for the show. I loved that they all had their lace dresses in different colors as well.

The second half of the show was comprised of multiple, shorter pieces, some by the Academy students and some by the company members. Each piece brought a different emotion to the show and they all complimented each other well. This second half started off with the slower, more melancholy feel of the first half, but got gradually more joyful and vibrant. By the end of the show, everyone was on stage, in fun, bright colors and having a big dance party. One of my favorite pieces, was lit by tiny candles the students held in their hands and danced with. (Don’t worry, they weren’t real candles.) It created a really beautiful glow.

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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.

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Two Roads | Colorado Arts Photographer

Some of the coolest parts of last summer’s Breckenridge International Art Festival were the trail performances. Along a few trails were art installation, often made out of the woods themselves. Throughout the festival, musicians would come and perform in the woods near the art installations. The Breckenridge International Art Festival is hosted in Breckenridge each August. They did such an incredible job combining various artforms together and with the stunning nature the town is known for. From acrobatic dance pieces to giant dinosaurs in the streets, there was an incredible variety of art at this festival.

We hiked up a mountain just outside of town to get to this spot, just in time for a live show. On the way up, we passed bikers and got some great views of the town below. We know we had made it because we could see the bright red of Konstantin Dimopoulos’s outdoor installation, “Two Roads,” through the trees.

From the festival’s website, Dimopoulos’s piece “is composed of branches collected from the forest floor, repurposed into chair-like structures. The skeletal quality of the frames provokes contemplation of negative space, or what is seemingly missing, while the branches, colored red, produce a vibrant contrast to the natural forest. The installation is both playful and thought provoking.”

We were then treated to a guitar performance by a local musician before hiking back down into town for some beignets, the perfect post hike food, at The Lost Cajun. Being serenaded in the woods, surrounded by nature and art is pretty incredible. I think if this were part of every hike, I would probably get way more exercise!

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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.

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Family Day Part 2 | Colorado Performing Arts Photographer

Opera Colorado puts on a ton of awesome events to get kids excited about the opera. One of the biggest events they host is Family Day. On Family Day, kids and their parents come to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House to watch a show and do crafts relating to the story. The shows are all abridged, kid-friendly, English language versions of classic operas and there is a Q&A session after each show.

Family Day is a big event so I split it into two blogs. This show was the Elixir of Love. It a great show about love potions and conniving salesman and it has the perfect mix of humor and drama. The kids made their own elixirs of love and colored some root beer kegs. Part of this opera takes place in a bar so to make it kid friendly, the bar in this version only served root beer! The show was followed by a question and answer session and then the kids got to come up to look at the set and take pictures with the Young Artists. They loved playing with the costumes and props.

Opera Colorado’s season is officially over. That means the Young Artists are off on their own again, and the halls of the Ellie won’t be filled with singing voices for a while. I get to meet the new Young Artists in September and then the first opera of the season is in November. Next season brings another exciting line up of three unique operas! The season opens with La Bohème, the opera that inspired the Broadway musical and then movie, Rent. Then in January, there will be a world premier of Steal A Pencil for Me, a true story about two people who fall in love in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. The season will end with Falstaff, a tale of greed, seduction, and buffoonery

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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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Saurus | Colorado Theater Photography

I love interactive art and interactive theater is even better! The first performance I every photographed was a piece of interactive theater, Fuerza Bruta. This show was so much fun to be a part of. Saurus, by Close Act Theater, was part of the Breckenridge International  Art Festival. There were dinosaurs and stilts and crazy mohawks!

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These cyanotype butterflies were part of an instillation by Tasha Lewis for the same festival.

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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.