Bonnie Montgomery, a native Arkansan, picked up Bill Clinton’s autobiography, My Life, in 2006 and saw stories ready for the operatic stage. She couldn’t lose the vision of Virginia (Clinton) Kelly and Billy (Clinton) Blythe singing an aria together onstage.
Montgomery is formally trained in music education and vocal performance but operatic composition was new to her. Still, she was on fire about a contemporary American opera set in her home–an often overlooked, southern state rich with musical heritage. She wanted to share the inspiration she had gleaned from global visionaries who also called Arkansas home.
Montgomery teamed with friend and fellow southerner Brittany Barber to write the libretto and Billy Blythe was born.
Montgomery studied music at Ouachita Baptist University, then at UMKC Conservatory of Music. She focused on American art song and folk music with emphasis on Arkansas’ musical heritage.
She has also worked and performed in Asia, Mexico, Australia and Europe, during which she learned an even greater appreciation for her home state and region, where her family still owns and operates a local music store on the court square in White County.
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|COMPANY||TITLE||DATES||Opera Ithaca||Billy Blythe||4/8/2016 - 4/8/2016||
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