Pair of Puccini operas to be performed at UWSP
On the 100th anniversary of their debut, a pair of operas by Puccini will be performed at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) this month.
“Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, by students in the Music Department’s annual Opera Workshop. Performances will be held in Michelsen Hall at the Noel Fine Arts Center.
Tickets are $19 for adults, $18 for seniors, $14 for youth and $10 for students with a UWSP I.D. They may be purchased through University Information and Tickets in the Dreyfus University Center Concourse, by calling 715-346-4100 or at tickets.uwsp.edu.
Originally performed in Italian, both operas will be sung in English.
The two operas are part of a triptych, said director and producer Matthew Markham. “Suor Angelica” is a heartbreaking tale of motherhood denied. “Gianni Schicchi” is a hilarious tale of how far a family will go to inherit riches.
“Suor Angelica” is set in a convent. Opera Workshop participants toured the Sisters of St. Joseph Convent in Stevens Point to learn more about Catholicism and nuns’ rituals. At the invitation of the Sisters and to thank them, the cast will perform “Suor Angelica” in the convent chapel April 18. Pacelli Catholic High School students and the Continuing Education LIFE program also have been invited.
“It’s going to be a phenomenal community outreach event. It will enrich the students’ experience to perform at the chapel,” Markham said.
Both operas are set in 1920s Wisconsin. “Gianni Schicchi” has several quirky additions and cameo appearances by two local arts supporters.
Nearly 40 student singers will participate in the double bill, and others are involved in set and costume design, backstage work and lighting. Kristin Ditlow of the University of New Mexico will be guest music director for the production as pianist and musical coach for the singers. She and Markham have collaborated on opera performances at UWSP in the past.