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Striking the Right Note

Local artists see a bright future in the art of music

Article by Patranya Bhoolsuwan

Photography by Richard Brusky and Gabriella Benavidez

Originally published in Henderson City Lifestyle

“It’s really exciting when I can present up and coming singers that live here in our community. Our first goal is to hire locally,” said Ginger Land-van Buuren.

Land-van Buuren knows opera and lives it every day. As Co-Founder and Executive Director of Vegas City Opera, she launched the company in 2010 and over the years, has seen it grow along with the entire region of Southern Nevada.

“When I first moved here from New York City, there was very little going on when it came to the opera scene,” said Land-van Buuren who now calls Henderson home. “But in a way, it was a good thing. We had the freedom to create something completely unique in opera."

Vegas City Opera has put on hundreds of performances since its inception. Land-van Buuren said one of her proudest achievements is recently combining forces with the “Las Vegas Sinfonietta," a professional chamber orchestra founded by a passionate group of local musicians, dedicated to performing classical repertoire ranging from Baroque to Contemporary works. The Las Vegas Sinfonietta is led by a famed Artistic Director and fellow Henderson resident, Taras Krysa. 

“Ever since I moved here, I knew of him," said Land van-Buuren. "I knew that we needed to find a nuanced, high-caliber conductor who knows the complexity of working with singers. To not take advantage of someone like Taras would be sinful!”

A Ukrainian-born conductor and professional violinist, Krysa first came to Las Vegas to work at UNLV as the Director of Orchestras. He went on to become the Artistic and Music Director for the Henderson Symphony Orchestra. He then spent several years as the Music Director and Conductor of Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, the oldest professional orchestra in his birth country of Ukraine.

“It was an amazing experience but traveling and going back and forth was getting really difficult at the time. That was just after the COVID pandemic began,” said Krysa. “My wife and I then decided to stay put in this community and build something where we live. That’s when Sinfonietta came into existence.”

This past October, Vegas City Opera and The Las Vegas Sinfonietta collaborated for the first time for a performance called: "Kings & Queens: Madness, Mayhem & Macabre. Land-van Buuren and Krysa are already looking forward to future partnerships and spreading the love of Opera and classical music to an even wider audience.

"My dream is for this city to one day be like where I came from," said Krysa. "A place where it's completely normal to hear live classical music performances every day."

"It’s been incredibly fulfilling to see the city grow and to see more theater companies and musical companies blossoming as well," said Land-van Buuren. "We are so happy to be a piece of this cultural landscape."

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