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Haven helping Intermountain Opera Bozeman address depictions of domestic violence in 'Carousel'

"When we decided to do 'Carousel', we knew that we would only do it if we had Haven as a partner in order to tell the story responsibly," says General Director Susan Miller.
Posted at 12:15 PM, Feb 01, 2024

BOZEMAN — Intermountain Opera Bozeman is partnering with local domestic violence shelter Haven for the opera company's performance of "Carousel"—a lively musical with some dark themes.

"'Carousel' is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical from the golden age of musicals. It has one of the most beautiful scores that has ever been written," says Susan Miller, general director of the opera.

She speaks to the play's themes and need for partnership with Haven: "When we decided to do 'Carousel', we knew that we would only do it if we had Haven as a partner in order to tell the story responsibly."

"It is a musical that has a lot of themes surrounding domestic violence and I think that they really saw an opportunity to start a community-wide conversation on this issue that Haven works so closely on," says Haven Executive Director Erica Coyle.

Coyle explains how art can serve as a medium for such difficult topics, saying, "There’s something about having—whether it’s pop culture or art—that can really open up new doors of understanding for folks."

"In the original 'Carousel', there’s some forgiveness that happens and normalization that happens with domestic violence," Coyle adds.

Actors spoke with survivors and advocates about their experiences, and Haven will even be holding optional talkbacks after every show.

"I hope that it creates an avenue of conversation for folks who might be going through domestic violence so that they know it’s not something to be swept under the rug," says Miller.

With professional actors and an entire live orchestra, Miller also says, "It’s more than a musical—it’s an event."

For more information on the musical and how to get tickets, visit the Intermountain Opera Bozeman website.

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