The creative freedom and cross-pollination of Black Mountain College in the 1950s. The feel of “downtown” Manhattan in the 1970s, when struggling artists of all disciplines could afford big spaces for big projects. These are the models for Opera Omaha’s ONE Festival, a one-of-a-kind opera residency and festival that gives artists complete freedom to experiment and produce (no suits looking over their shoulders!). This year’s festival includes two rarely performed works: Stradella’s 1675 oratorio St. John the Baptist and Bellini’s 1830 gem The Capulets and the Montagues. There is a world-premiere opera installation, MTHR/WMN, created by costume designer Mattie Ullrich and composer Clara Warnaar; an operatic short-film festival; and more. Omaha may be “flyover country,” but it’s time to consider a stopover. —L.J.
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