Riders of the Purple Sage: The Making of a Western Opera
A documentary film that celebrates the artistry of live theatre launches an online benefit to support creative professionals out of work due to the pandemic.
COVID-19 has devastated our creative economy. Venues are closed. Performers and musicians are struggling. The pandemic has lowered the curtain on stagehands, costumers, conductors, and audiences. The Brooking’s Institute estimates 2.7 million jobs in the creative sector were lost in the first six months of the pandemic. Many theatre professionals have already gone a year without work and are facing another. The Actors Fund and Quantum Leap Productions are partnering to raise funds for performing arts professionals across the country.
In the award-winning documentary, Riders of the Purple Sage: The Making of a Western Opera, America's cowboy culture and opera’s hallowed traditions converge to celebrate the collaborative power of art. The documentary details the creative process of all artists involved in live theater onstage and backstage. Arizona Opera’s cowboy opera based on Zane Grey’s iconic novel opened to packed houses and glowing reviews. Broadway World raved, “An opera as monumental and well-crafted as Riders of the Purple Sage can now lay claim to a rightful place in the canon of works about the American West.” The film climaxes with the opera’s world premiere.
“Mounting a new opera requires the collaboration of singers, musicians, a director, composer, conductor, designers and crew. The Actors Fund understands how important every individual is to the collective experience of live theatre,” says director Kristin Atwell Ford of Quantum Leap Productions. “While theaters are dark, we hope this film reminds us of the essential role artists play in elevating the human spirit.”
Half of all proceeds go to The Actors Fund