Washington University Opera Dec. 15 and 16

Evening of excerpts to highlight recent work based on William Inge’s Picnic

Opera on the Kansas plains?

Ocel will direct the Washington University Opera Workshop in excerpts from Picnic, for which he wrote the libretto, and four other works Dec. 15 and 16.

Picnic, a recent opera by American composer Forrest Pierce, centers on a handsome drifter whose arrival in small Midwestern town spells both liberation and catastrophe for the women of the Owens family.

The piece, based on the 1953 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by William Inge, was commissioned in 2007 by the University of Kansas. (Inge taught at Washington University from 1946-49.) It features a libretto written by Tim Ocel, lecturer in Washington University’s Department of Music in Arts & Sciences.

At 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 15 and 16, Ocel and the Washington University Opera Workshop will present excerpts from Picnic and four other operas in the 560 Music Center Ballroom Theater.

Also on the program will be scenes from La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), Carmen by Georges Bizet (1838-75), The Abduction from the Seraglio by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91) and Dialogues of the Carmelites by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963).

Ocel directs the performance, with musical direction by senior lecturer Christine Armistead. Pianist will be Sandra Geary, teacher of applied music.

Both evenings are free and open to the public and are sponsored by the Department of Music. The 560 Music Center is located in University City at 560 Trinity Ave.

For more information, call (314) 935-5566 or email daniels@wustl.edu.