Washington University Opera April 24 and 26

Annual Opera Scenes performances include standard repertoire and contemporary masterpieces

Take three parts standard operatic repertoire, add two contemporary masterpieces, one not-so-standard bel canto and a dash of musical theatre.

The result is Opera Scenes, the semester-end program by Washington University Opera. This year’s performances will take place at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, April 24 and 26, in the Ballroom Theatre of the 560 Music Center.


“The Opera Scenes program is an informal event that is taken quite seriously,” says Tim Ocel, lecturer in the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences, who directs the performance.

Ocel notes that the ballroom setting, in which performers are surrounded by audience on three sides, “forces the student singers to create a complete and thorough characterization and to be as musically precise as possible.”

The program will include excerpts from Jules Massenet’s Manon, Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth and Giacomo Puccini’s La Rondine as well as from two contemporary works, Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah and Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco.

Rounding out the program will be scenes from The Secret Garden, the musical by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon; and from Gioachino Rossini’s William Tell.

The latter, Ocel notes, “is rarely performed because of its length and difficulty. The trio for three female voices is a stunning example of bel canto musicianship and will interest opera devotees who look for an opportunity to hear live a small portion of Rossini’s final operatic work.”

The six performers include four master’s candidates — Keith Boyer, Anthony Heinemann, Kathleen Redmon and Kate Reimann — as well as two undergraduates: junior Colleen Batty and senior Rush Dorsett.

Pianist is Sandra Geary, teacher of applied music and co-director of the opera program. Musical direction is by senior lecturer Christine Armistead.

The performance is free and open to the public and is 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 susan_wetzel@aol.com.