‘Opera Circus’ plays at Umrath

The Washington University Opera will perform close to a dozen excerpts from eight well-known operas at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3, at Umrath Hall Lounge as part of its “Opera Circus” concert.

Performances are sponsored by the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences and are free and open to the public.

Jolly Stewart, director of the Washington University Opera, will direct the concert. John Stewart, director of vocal activities in the Department of Music, will conduct.

“This semester, the opera class spent most of its time working in ensembles,” Stewart said. “It is certainly a thrill to sing an aria when it appears, but even then many, many times there are other characters on stage with whom the singer must interact. These selections, chosen from the wish list of the singers, all involve multiple people working together in ensemble to produce, hopefully, a convincing outcome.”

The program will open with a duet between Jacquino (Joshua Stanton) and Marzelline (Diana Coss) from “Fidelio” (1805), the only opera written by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Set in a Spanish prison, the story centers on Marzelline’s love for Fidelio, assistant to her father, Rocco (Alan Naylor), the jailor. Yet unbeknownst to anyone, Fidelio is actually Leonore (Sara Gottman), a woman whose husband, accused of political misdeeds, is locked in the dungeon below. Following the duet, the program will feature a quartet in which Jacquino, Marzelline, Rocco and Leonore sing about Marzelline’s love for Fidelio.

The program continues with a duet between Adina (Nora Maynard) and Nemorino (Jay O’Brien) from “The Elixir of Love” (1832) by Gaetano Donizetti, followed by the Quintet from Act II of “The Magic Flute” (1791) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Alison Moritz will sing the Sandman’s aria from “Hansel and Gretel” (1893) by Engelbert Humperdinck, while Courtney Dey and Alyson Ditchey will sing Hansel and Gretel’s prayer.

Gottman, Maynard, Moritz, Stanton and O’Brien will perform a quintet from “Carmen” (1875) by Georges Bizet. Gottman and Stanton will perform a duet from “The Merry Widow” (1905) by Franz Lehar.

Ditchey and Naylor will sing the telephone scene duet from “Summer and Smoke” (1971) by Lee Hoiby. The program will conclude with two scenes from “Die Fledermaus” (1874) by Johann Strauss. Moritz will perform Adele’s audition aria and then will be joined by Naylor and Ditchey for the finale.

For more information, call 935-5566 or e-mail kschultz@artsci.wustl.edu.