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Opera Omaha and the Great Plains Theatre Conference, Stranger from Paradise

Kristin M. Girten

Omaha, Nebraska, was in bloom with Blake this past May. What is William Blake doing in the land of Willa Cather? Opera Omaha, Nebraska’s only professional opera company, had commissioned the locally based playwright Kevin Lawler to write and direct an opera focused on Blake, with the goal of premiering the production at the 2017 Great Plains Theatre Conference. The conference is an annual regional festival hosted by Omaha’s Metropolitan Community College and designed to nurture the talents of a wide array of local and national theatre artists. However unlikely, it proved to be an apt site for an operatic portrayal of Blake’s life and work.

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