A Real Horse Opera History was made when a horse opera premiered at Phoenix at Symphony Hall.

ed mell painting riders of the purple sage
Poster for “Riders of the Purple Sage” created by Ed Mell.

History was made when a real, live horse opera based on Zane Grey’s immortal classic, “Riders of The Purple Sage” premiered in Phoenix at Symphony Hall on February 25th, 2017.  The $1.1 million dollar production was created by Craig Bohmler and librettist Steven Mark Kohn, and featured gigantic landscapes by local artist Ed Mell, which were projected on an enormous LED screen. Bohmler’s score was obviously inspired by classic Western film themes, and it worked beautifully. This was a first for Arizona Opera and it’s mighty sweet. I ripped off their poster art, above, but I cleared it with Ed (full disclosure: Ed and I shared studio space for six years in the eighties).

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Bob Boze Bell

In 1999, Bob Boze Bell and partners bought True West magazine (published since 1953) and moved the editorial offices to Cave Creek, Arizona. Bell has published and illustrated books on Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, as well as Classic Gunfights, an Old West gunfight book series. His latest books are The 66 Kid and True West Moments.