There are many opera houses in the U.S., and soprano Ginger Land-van Buuren has graced the stage of many of them, from her debut singing the lead role in “An Incomplete Education” at The Bronx Opera to Opera Resident Artist in Portland, Oregon. As a member of the Screen Actors Guild, she has appeared on the big screen opposite Vin Diesel in “Find Me Guilty,” as “Laughing Opera Singer” in the Fandango commercials, and in theatrical productions of “Hello Dolly,” “Showboat,” “South Pacific,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “My Fair Lady.”
After relocating to Las Vegas with her husband Christiann and realizing there wasn’t a vibrant opera scene, she launched Sin City Opera with Artistic Director Skip Galla Katipunan. Now known as Vegas City Opera, it staged three operas during its first season in 2010-2011. It recently staged a dozen productions, including a free event inspired by poetess Maya Angelou, “The Voices of Women.” at the Henderson Pavilion, and “A Very POPera Holiday” at the Water Street Plaza Amphitheater. Save the date for this year’s POPera production with free admission on December 10th.
Executive Director Land van-Buuren couldn’t live in a city without opera and classical music, so she made it her mission to tell new stories with complex, beautiful melodies that are still relevant. Vegas City Opera also creates unique performance art pieces for charity functions, art festivals, museums, and other special events, making opera accessible to all ages by collaborating with the City of Henderson, the City of Las Vegas, and Clark County Parks & Recreation.
While the pandemic affected its usual operations, contracts with singers funded by the Nevada Arts Council allowed Vegas City Opera to perform in small groups throughout Las Vegas and Henderson. Maybe you were lucky enough to catch “Opera in the Movies” during the Henderson Art Walk featuring selections from “The Godfather,” “Moonstruck,” “Casino,” “Pretty Woman,” and Disney’s “Up.” They even filmed a mini version of Richard Wagner’s “The Ring” outdoors in Henderson, on the Strip, and in homes. This Vegas City Opera season will include the U.S. premiere from the National Theater in London’s revival of “The Three Penny Opera” from October 27th-30th. Auditions for youth choristers to be a part of the production were held recently, continuing the organization’s outreach and education, including history and context, repertoire, movement, acting, etiquette, professional development, master classes, vocal instruction, and coaching.
When she isn’t performing, Land van-Buuren devotes her time to the B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation to provide resources needed to support, sustain, and empower young girls and women under the age of 25 who have been abused, abandoned, and exploited. Originally an Advisory Board member, she currently sits on the Executive Board of Directors. She has helped develop new programs like the SHERO Shield to educate and train parents about sex trafficking and the SHERO Mobile Sanctuary, which transports survivors to places where girls are trafficked to provide them with options and coping mechanisms. Ginger is deeply involved with the volunteer-driven organization, also supporting its many fundraising events, including the “I Am Radiant” Fashion Show empowering teens to own their confidence and develop safety and awareness skills. It’s all a part of Land-van Buuren’s voice being heard through art and passion.