Arizona Opera adapted a Bisbee ghost story that turned into the film, “The Copper Queen”

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The Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee is known for its tales of paranormal activity. The Arizona opera has adapted one of those ghost stories, which in turn has been reimagined into a film. It’s called “The Copper Queen” and we spoke with the film’s director, Crystal Manich. 

“The Copper Queen Hotel is a real hotel in Bisbee, Arizona which is in the southern part of the state..and it’s haunted by a ghost named Julia Lowell. And there’s not much known about the actual Julia Lowell except that she was a prostitute at the turn of the century and that she still haunts the hotel,” Manich said.

And this opera is a fictionalized account about who Julia may have been and why she is a ghost.

The opera rendition of this story was commissioned in 2015 and in early 2019, Manich was approached regarding if she wanted to direct it as a film.

Manich ultimately said yes to this project because she loved the story with the two strong women roles and their storylines that come together at the end.

The film process began with several months of storyboarding and planning the shot lists. It was shot like an independent film and it was filmed in 5 days.

Manich said that with all of the planning and having a wonderful team it turned out even better than she could have hoped. This has inspired her to think about doing more opera films in the future.

To learn more about this film, you can go to “

Crystal Manich, Director, "The Copper Queen" film

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