Plymouth, N.H.–Students in the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Plymouth State University will present two evenings of songs from the opera literature, April 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. at the Hanaway Theatre in the Silver Center for the Arts.
The students are members of the PSU Chamber Singers and additional voice students, some studying in this semester’s Opera Scene Study class.
The program includes songs from Pagliacci, by Ruggero Leoncavallo; Carmen, by Georges Bizet; Lelisr d’amore by Gaetano Donizetti and Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss.
PSU Professor of Music Kathleen Arecchi says young singers need to experience singing in large spaces without amplification, which is part of the opera world. “Singers can’t learn about being their own amplification system until they have practice singing in spaces that are larger than our recital hall and don’t give as much feedback.” Students have also requested more opera experience in the curriculum.
While the program will feature some student soloists, one objective of the experience is for students to learn the importance of the opera chorus. Arecchi, who is stage director for this program says, “These are the people who help set the scene and establish the context within which the stories are told. The setting for Die Fledermaus Act II is a Viennese palace and the ensemble brings the wealthy and famous to the party. Carmen is set in Seville and we need the girls who are cigarette makers and the soldiers to help us understand the time and place. This is the case in each opera.”
Professor Dan Perkins, director of the PSU Chamber Singers and music director for the program says singing in an opera chorus requires technical, listening and movement skills that are unique to this genre. He says, “Dr. Arecchi and I are pleased to provide this broadening experience for our singers. At many schools, the choral and opera programs are at odds because of the contrasting vocal demands. At PSU we are proud to promote our collaborative and cooperative spirit, which is in the best interests of our students.”
Featured in the opera scenes in arias and duets are: seniors Danny Brevik (bass-baritone), Jennifer Fijal (mezzo-soprano), Heather Jacques (soprano), Krystal Morin (soprano), Amanda Teneriello (soprano) and Jamie Willis (tenor).
Featured in a nonet from Falstaff are seniors Brevik, Fijal, Jacques, Morin and Willis and first-year student Mike Dodge (tenor), sophomores Skylar Aldrich (tenor) and Lisa Hansen (soprano) and junior Rory Diamond (baritone).
Tickets for Sinners, Saints and Sirens are $14 for adults, $10 for seniors and $6 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS (2787) or (800) 779-3869. Note: the box office is closed 3/19-27.
General information about events at PSU is available at ThisWeek@PSU, http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.