March 6, 2017
Riders of the Purple Sage, Arizona Opera's first-ever world commission by Olivier Award-nominated composer Craig Bohmler, has shattered box office records for the company, now celebrating its 45th season.
Single ticket sales for Riders totaled $390,924 – the third highest in the company's 45 seasons. Total ticket sales were the highest for the company in twelve years, and total attendance for the world premiere run was 7,796.
The production has been hailed as a history-defining moment for Arizona Opera – one that has given the company a "seat at the big boy's table."
"Suave melodies and distinctive motives...a fascinating work that deserves to be heard often."
"Monumental and well-crafted, Riders can lay claim to a rightful place in the canon of works about the American West. A dynamic and memorable production...resonates with authenticity in the voices of a superb cast...that merits the unequivocal standing ovation."
"Bohmler's cinematic score also has a very contemporary energy, with flashing violins of the sort that build excitement in the latest “Star Wars” flick. This engaging production is built on sturdy bones: iconic hero-and-villain characters, a suspenseful story and a score that’s studded with soaring, hummable melodies. There’s no denying the edge-of-your-seat energy..."
"Bohmler’s score had strong references to classic Western film themes — it reminds us of the Silver Screen era Westerns without imitating them."
Arizona Daily Star