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Water Conservation Garden hosts Hobbit celebration

In celebration of National Hobbit Day, the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, the two fictional characters in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” local performing arts company Cinballera Entertainment is bringing a twist to Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” with its performance of “Lady of the Ring” in the picturesque setting at The Water Conservation Garden on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.

A combination of ballet and opera, some of the singing will be in Elvish, and the core of the opera is a collection of songs based on poems from the Tolkien books. Co-director and co-creator Tiffany Brannan, along with her sister Rebekah Brannan, founded the company and work together to create the shows using their combined talents.

“In this show for instance, the first half is a series of songs, classical songs we have put together like an opera,” she said. “I am also singing in that. The second half is an original ballet that my sister and I wrote, and my sister is performing in that. I choreographed and directed much of that as well.”

Brannan said Cinballera stands for “Cinema, Ballet, and Opera.” Both professional performing artists, Tiffany Brannon is an opera singer, her sister is a ballet dancer with the San Diego Ballet.

Living in Fallbrook, she said during the past year they have become much more involved in the San Diego area performing arts, although they have been in the performing arts throughout Southern California for all their lives.

“We have met many other great artists, and been in some interesting productions,” she said. “We have written ballets before and put on productions in conjunction with dance studios. This summer we had an idea. San Diego Ballet is on a break. We wanted to put on our own show since we had written this ballet, and we had written an opera also, so we decided to start a production company because we have many ideas for putting on shows and we have a great group of artists who like to collaborate with us.”

Tiffany Brannan is also a Hollywood historian, which inspires her a lot in writing and staging.

“We wanted to create a venue for ourselves and other artists who may not get to play the leads in shows with companies that have already started and would like to do something a little different than the standard type of show,” she said.

She said “Lady of the Ring” is their take on “The Lord of the Rings” with the villain being a dark lady instead of a dark lord because in ballet you always have a prima ballerina, and there are not many women in the story.

“What if the ring itself had the spirit of this dark lady? That was the idea for the ballet. We have a similar story in the opera. The ballet is 20 minutes long, a very condensed version of the story with only four characters,” she said. “The opera is a similar idea with five characters. We have a fellowship of nine members, and we tell the story first through audio through opera, and the second half is visual through ballet. We had the idea to perform it outside because the nature aspect of creating Middle Earth is very important. That is why we chose The Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon.”

The Water Conservation Garden is located at Cuyamaca College, 12122 Cuyamaca College Drive W in El Cajon. For tickets to the “Lady of the Ring” visit

For more information about Cinballera Entertainment, visit

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