Ballet and opera are two great art forms that work great together. New this season, Ballet Nebraska hits the stage with Opera Omaha. Artistic Director Erika Overturff said the ballet will join the opera on all of its productions this season: La Traviata, The Magic Flute and Bluebeard’s Castle.

Highlights this fall include the company’s annual mixed repertory program, Momentum. The production includes a piece inspired by a Japanese atomic bomb survivor, called Sadako, choreographed by Matthew Carter. Overturff’s piece on the program is Tropico, which she described as “an exuberant ballet set to Caribbean rhythms.” Sanfona de Boca, by Brazilian choreographer Armando Duarte, rounds out the program.

Lewis Carroll’s magical tale, Alice in Wonderland will be choreographed by Kennet Oberly for the company next spring.

Overturff said guests may take part in a Patron Party in Joslyn’s fountain court after the Friday night performance of Momentum. And Joslyn Castle will be the site of the Nutcracker Tea Party this year.

Ballet Nebraska’s dancing feet will be traveling as well. They will take their production of The Nutcracker to Spirit Lake, Iowa this December.

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This fall, the Durham Museum is celebrating the military. American Soldier: From the Civil War to the War in Iraq opens September 22nd.  Shawna Forsberg, Marketing Director, said the exhibit includes 116 photographs that depict how America’s wars have looked through the eyes of the men and women who fought them.

Forsberg said American Soldier is a complement to the Museum’s current exhibit, Worn with Pride: Americans in Uniform. Artifacts from each of the United States’ conflicts are on view, from the Civil War to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“These artifacts bring home the personal experiences of war and show how advances in technology have changed that experience over the last 150 years,” she said.

The Durham will offer several special events to supplement the exhibits. In October, Dan Sullivan, editor for World-Herald books, will present a lecture titled Answering the Call, focused on the roles Nebraskans and Iowans played during WWII. Guests can learn how to do the Charleston and the Lindy at the Durham’s USO Dance Party in November.

Forsberg said the museum will also be collecting and recording the stories of American war veterans. Recordings will be preserved by the Durham’s curatorial team.

Information is available at


Esperanza Spalding, 2011 Grammy award-winner for Best New Artist, kicks off Omaha Performing Arts’ new season on Friday, September 28th. Spalding appeared at the 1200 Club several years ago and Joan Squires, OPA Executive Director, said she’s excited to have Spalding return.

“She’s just an amazing performer. She does some jazz, some crossover. It’s going to be one of the top highlights of the whole season,” said Squires.

October is a good month for some chuckles. Early in the month, comedian/writer/actor Mike Birbiglia will perform his one-man show. For more laughs, Squires said OPA is welcoming back The Capitol Steps.

“With the election coming, we thought this was an opportune time for them perform an equal opportunity skewering of the candidates,” Squires said.

Squires said her other top highlights include the Canadian Tenors, who will present a holiday show in four-part harmony, Potted Potter, a hilarious look at all seven Harry Potter books done with two actors in 70 minutes and the Joffrey Ballet who will present the 100th anniversary of the “Rite of Spring.”

This year, Omaha Performing Arts will open a new bar and lounge on the ground floor of the Holland Center.

Information is available at


Olivia Newton-John opens the Pops Series in late September. She will sing her hits like “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” from the movie Grease. Newton-John is presented through a collaboration between the symphony and the Nebraska Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Classical superstar violinist Joshua Bell is the special guest artist at the November MasterWorks concerts. He will play Tchaikovsky’s thrilling “Violin Concerto in D Major.”

“There are people that have the ‘it’ factor. With an artist like Joshua Bell, there’s something else there. It’s more than the attention to detail, the emotion. You can’t take you eyes or ears off of them,” said Maestro Thomas Wilkins.

The symphony celebrates the music of John Williams in  October. Audiences will enjoy favorites from Star Wars, E.T. and Harry Potter. Wilkins said Williams is the gold standard of composers for film music.

The Symphony Joslyn series is new this year. The symphony’s chamber orchestra plays Sunday afternoons at the Witherpsoon Concert Hall. ( The series provides connections between the music and specific works of art at the Joslyn.

This season, the Omaha Symphony is offering 50% off a season subscription for first-time symphony subscribers.

Information is available at 402.342.3560 or

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