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HIGHLIGHTS

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Plus: Petrella and Apollos Creed
Opera in the Ozarks
Arriving at Inspiration Point, the home of Opera in the Ozarks, is at first unimpressive. It’s plain. The buildings are insignificant and there are no slick banners, billboards, lights or hoopla announcing the high-caliber talent. But, slowly as the evening unwraps, you realize that you’re holding a ticket for one of Arkansas’s, if not the country’s, best-kept secrets. Although, the humid Arkansas night is definitely a player and if you came without a cushion or chair back, you’ll wish you had. But then it hits you. This is not plain. The deep valley and miles of mountains behind the amphitheater stage, the talented performers in their exquisite costumes, all combine to deliver a night to remember, whether or not you are an opera fan. Those who have stayed away because they “don’t understand the language,” soon feel comfortable as the English subtitles are projected on a screen so that the story can be followed. Program guides offer a synopsis of the operas and biographies of the performers.
Since 1950, performers from around the world have come to Inspiration Point west of Eureka Springs for summer residencies. This year 43 performers will showcase their talent in three productions: Puccini’s “La Boheme,” Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” and Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte.”
Performances dates are: “Cosi Fan Tutte,” June 26, 29, July 3, 6, 10, 16. “The Mikado: June 27, July 5, 9, 11, 17, with a performance on July 30 at Arend Arts Center in Bentonville. “La Boheme,” June 28, July 2, 8, 15, 18, with a performance on July 12 at Arend Arts Center.
“Famous Opera Scenes” will be performed on July 7 and there will be a chamber music concert on July 14.
Inspiration Point is located at 16311 Hwy. 62 West. All shows are at 8 p.m. and all seats are reserved. Tickets are $15-$20 and can be purchased by calling 479-253-8595 or visiting www.opera.org.
Rodeo
If opera’s not your thing, how ‘bout some rodeo? The 64th annual Rodeo of the Ozarks opens Tuesday and runs nightly through July 4 at Parsons Stadium in Springdale. The PRCA and WRPA event is part of the Wrangler Pro Rodeo Tour, which means that some of the best competitors in the nation will be coming to NWA. Five hundred cowboys and cowgirls will compete in seven events. Special guests will be the women’s drill team, The Rounders.
New this year are country music concerts after the rodeo with Confederate Railroad on Tuesday, Sarah Johns on Wednesday, John Anderson on July 3 and Highway 101 on July 4.
On July 5, the Profession Bull Riders will take over the stadium for Buckin’ in the Ozarks.
There will be two rodeo parades, one at 3 p.m. on Tuesday and the other at 10 a.m. on July 4. The parades will begin at the stadium and travel through downtown on Emma Avenue.
Gates to the rodeo open at 6 p.m. with the Grand Entry parade at 7:30 p.m. For tickets and information go to www.rodeooftheozarks.org.
Petrella
Jammin Java on the Town Center Plaza on the Fayetteville Square will host country soul singer Petrella for two shows this week. The Hot Springs based singer and songwriter will play a 4 p.m. happy hour show on Friday, followed by a 9 a.m. show Saturday morning during the Fayetteville Farmers Market. Petrella has appeared at the Country Music Fest and on Ernest Tubb’s Midnight Jamboree in Nashville. She received the Producer’s Choice Award at the King Eagle Awards Show and in April, her single “I Want to Know You Forever” from her sixth album, “100 Proof Woman,” was ranked number 15 on Billboard’s “Hot Singles Sales” chart.
Apollos Creed
Check out the up-and-coming NWA band Apollos Creed Friday night at The OPO at the Urban Table on the Fayetteville Square. The five-piece group that got together four years ago has been sharing stages around town for a while now, and will be  releasing their first album this year. The band puts out an impressive mix of sometimes moody, sometimes upbeat pop. The musicianship is first rate. Band members are Daniel Nouguier on guitar and vocals, David Harrison and Patrick Moss on guitars, Josh Garrett on bass and Justin Danner on drums. Show starts at 10 p.m. $5 cover.

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