November 11, 2004

Opera potpourri to parade student talent

Photo: Sacramento State Opera Theatre
Sacramento State Opera Theatre

Secrets left untold. An intriguing mysterious letter. The classic tale of star crossed lovers.

These are among the scenarios to be performed during an unparalleled display of operatic talent in the California State University, Sacramento Opera Theatre’s presentation of “Gardens and Letters Galore” opening at 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 18 in the Music Recital Hall in Capistrano Hall. Performances continue Nov. 19 and 20.

Nearly 30 vocalists—a large gathering of talent by opera standards—will perform 17 scenes from 14 different operas.

“Having all of these performers gives us a really big sound,” says Sacramento State professor Lynn Stradley, director of the group. “There will be an ‘embarrassment of riches.’”

Scenes vary from romance to mystery and from comedy to tragedy. Portions of ii Barbiere di Siviglia, Betrothal in a Monastery, Candide, Cosi fan tutte, L’elisir d’amore, Eugen Onegin, Falstaff, Faust, Die Fledermaus, Le nozze di Figaro, Pelleas et Melisande, Romeo et Juliette, The Taming of the Shrew and Trouble in Tahiti will be presented.

Many scenes will be sung in their original languages. Each will be individually staged.

Stradley has directed a compilation of operas each fall since 1977. The productions give students a wide range of lyrical material to explore.

“Our students are performing excerpts from repertoire that is seen and heard in professional opera houses the world over,” Stradley said. “For example, we have a student performing a scene from Betrothal in a Monastery, performed by the San Francisco Opera in the late 1990s.” Many of the students in the show performed in last spring’s acclaimed University performance of The Magic Flute.

Unlike a single opera production, the selections also feature a diverse array of choreography. Nadya Dauzhskaya will provide piano accompaniment.

Tickets are $8 general, $5 for students and seniors, and are available from the CSUS Ticket Office at (916) 278-4323 or at Tickets.com.

More information is available by contacting Stradley at (916) 278-7980 or stradley@csus.edu. Media assistance is available from public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
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