Bon AppetitBon Appetit

Season Kick-Off: Bon Appétit

We kick off our season September 15 at the Betty Van Andel Opera Center with a performance of Bon Appétit, a one-woman opera about Julia Child composed by Lee Hoiby in 1997. The opera is a reenactment of Julia Child’s famous WGBH cooking show, conflating two episodes from the second season. Oakland University voice professor and mezzo-soprano Alta Boover will play Julia, and the audience will be served a traditional French dinner with decadent chocolate cake for dessert.


$100 per person

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the Box Office: 616-451-2741

Featuring Alta Boover as Julia Child

Alta Boover, mezzo-soprano, is praised by audiences and critics for her “perfect comic timing” and “lustrous big voice.” She has appeared at Carnegie Hall as a soloist with the New York City Chamber Orchestra in Mozart’s Solemn Vespers, and at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center as the Narrator in Peter and the Wolf as well as Mrs. Barnaby in the premiere of a new version of Victor Herbert’s Babes in Toyland. Internationally, she toured Brazil as the alto soloist in a resurrection of the work of Jose Mauricio Nuñes Garcia, and sang with the Choeur Maurice de Sully of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. On the operatic stage, favorite roles include Marcellina in Il Nozze di Figaro, Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance, Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Katisha in The Mikado, and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. She performs regularly as a concert and oratorio soloist with symphony orchestras across the country in performances including Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Bach’s St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, Magnificat, Weinachts Oratorio, and Handel’s Messiah. She spent six seasons with the Ohio Light Opera, the only professional company in the United States entirely devoted to the preservation of operetta. With them, she gave well over 400 performances in over 50 separate productions of European and American operetta. She can be heard on many full cast recordings on both the Albany Records and Operetta Archives Labels and in solo album releases with Centaur Records, the most recent of which celebrates American Operetta along with her husband, tenor Drake Dantzler. She is particularly delighted to return to the role of Julia Child in order to celebrate what would have been Julia’s 120th birthday in 2022. For more information, please visit

Librettist Note

Bon Appétit! was comprised of two icons of the television age: music draped over the words and gestures of Julia Child, the mother-of-all-foodies, in her black-and-white days; written for Jean Stapleton, famed original-cast, Broadway-musical comedienne, in her late career. The juxtaposition clicked for a few seasons, as a curtain-raiser for the more substantial Italian Lesson. The work lives on by virtue of flamboyant mezzos, piano-accompanied at gala occasions where great quantities of chocolate are consumed.

Two episodes of the second WGBH-TV season were conflated: the race between the whisk and the electric beater comes out of a different cake. Props have been used, or not. Hoiby’s music deftly veers around Broadway chansons, early television, and Ravelian apotheosis to underline Julia Child’s compelling domestic uplift.