Washington University Opera to present “Opera Circus” May 2 and 3

Program to feature selections by Beethoven, Donizetti, Hoiby, Mozart and more

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, as part of its “Opera Circus” concert.

Performances — sponsored by the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences — are free and open to the public and take place in Karl Umrath Hall, located just north of the Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd. For more information, call (314) 935-5566 or email kschultz@artsci.wustl.edu.

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,” explains Jolly Stewart. “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 (1770-1827).

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 will then continue with a duet between Adina (Nora Maynard) and Nemorino (Jay O’Brien) from The Elixir of Love (1832) by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848), followed by the Quintet from Act II of The Magic Flute (1791) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791).

Allison Moritz will sing the Sandman’s aria from Hansel and Gretel (1893) by Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921), 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 (1838-1875). Gottman and Stanton will perform a duet from The Merry Widow (1905) by Franz Lehar (1870-1948).

Ditchey and Naylor will sing the telephone scene duet from Summer and Smoke (1971) by Lee Hoiby (b. 1926). The program will conclude with two scenes from Die Fledermaus (1874) by Johann Strauss (1825-1899): Moritz will perform Adele’s audition aria, then will be joined by Naylor and Ditchey for the opera’s finale.

Calendar Summary

WHO: Washington University Opera

WHAT: “Opera Circus”

PROGRAM: Selections by Beethoven, Donizetti, Mozart, Humperdinck, Bizet, Lehar, Hoiby and Strauss

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3

WHERE: Karl Umrath Hall Lounge, just north of Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.

COST: Free

INFORMATION: (314) 935-5566 or kschultz@artsci.wustl.edu.

SPONSOR: Department of Music in Arts & Sciences