'Purple Sage' world premiere tops Arizona Opera's 2016-17 season

The Republic

A mark-your-calendar alert for opera buffs and fans of classic Westerns alike: Arizona Opera’s first world premiere, an adaptation of the Zane Grey novel “Riders of the Purple Sage,” tops the list of productions for the company’s just-announced 2016-17 season.

Written by Valley composer Craig Bohmler with librettist Steven Mark Kohn, “Riders” will debut at the Tucson Music Hall just over a year from now, Feb. 25-26, and move to Symphony Hall in Phoenix March 3-5. The scenic design is by famed Western artist Ed Mell.

The premiere is part of a four-year initiative, dubbed “Arizona Bold,” to bring contemporary operas and other less-performed works to audiences in Phoenix and Tucson.