Family affair: three generations of Bowles involved with ‘Carmen’

Family affair: three generations of Bowles involved with 'Carmen'
Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 10:47 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) – This weekend the Western Plains Opera Company is bringing the timeless story of Carmen to the small stage in Minot.

At the center of these performances is a family that’s played a key role in the opera scene in Minot through the years.

Your News Leader’s Joe Skurzewski headed to the theater for the final dress rehearsal.

As the Western Plains Opera puts on Carmen this weekend, the Bowles family will have quite an imprint on the performance--three generations, to be exact.

Father, son and grandchildren will be on stage.

Son Nathan returns home from New York to play lead male Don Jose.

He’s already played big cities, but says there’s no place like home.

“I have said many times and I will continue to say that this hall is just the best place to sing. You know, I’ve been lucky enough I’ve been able to sing in a couple of halls now kind of all over the place and nothing beats Ann Nicole Nelson,” said Nathan.

Perhaps the Bowles with the biggest influence is the one you don’t see on stage—Nathan’s mom DeVera, who’s retiring after Carmen’s run.

Joe: “You’ve been so busy you probably haven’t thought much about it but has it sunk in yet that this is it?”

DeVera: “Yes. Yes it has, and it feels good.”

DeVera’s been involved with the opera for decades, and her husband Ken says she’s the glue that’s held it all together.

“DeVera’s the spine that holds all these different parts together, as she is the general manager and she’s designing and building costumes for the pageantry of the show,” said Ken.

“It’s quite unique and that every single scene has some tune you can walk away humming and the story itself is compelling,” said DeVera.

Turning this performance into a family affair.

DeVera and Ken have grandchildren performing in the children’s choir too, meaning at some points there will be three generations on stage at the same time.

If you want to go to Saturday night’s performance at 7 p.m., go to the Western Plains Opera Company website for tickets.

Related coverage: Western Plains Opera Company brings ‘Carmen’ to the stage in Minot