For a few weeks in the summer,
MSU Texas will become opera central for North Texas. Wait, opera?
Through a unique partnership
with Midwestern State University, the Red River Lyric Opera (RRLO) will return
for its fourth season as a national-level training program for young artists. From
July 5-29, high school through doctoral level students from across the country
will learn about opera production from nationally renowned voice teachers,
conductors, musicians, and technical crew on the MSU campus. The three-week
program will culminate with the production of three operas.
RRLO executive director Darla
Diltz, a native Wichitan and an MSU alumna, said that along with providing
artistic development to the workshop participants, RRLO’s mission is to bring
cultural enrichment to North Texas and Southern Oklahoma communities, and to bring
national attention to MSU Texas.
“We could not do this without
MSU’s generous partnership with and contribution to our company, which enables
us to carry out our mission,” Diltz said. “The generosity extended by MSU is
something for which we are extremely grateful. It has given the Red River Lyric
Opera a wonderful home.”
Applicants from across the
country are screened before the most qualified are selected to participate in
the intensive training program. While in the program, participants receive
coaching, voice lessons, training in acting and stage movement, and, most
importantly, performance experience. Among those participants are 13 MSU Texas music
and theatre department students who were chosen to participate in the RRLO
The program also offers
internships for pianists and stage positions such as directors, designers, and
stage managers. These internships can help build repertoires and add to
experience for resumes.
faculty members include voice teachers Stephen F. Austin, Professor of Voice at
the University of North Texas; Chuck Chandler, Assistant Professor of Voice at
Florida State University; teacher, performer, and recording artist Jamie Van
Eyck Beceico; and Don Marazzo, head of the Classical Voice Department and
Professor of Voice at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in Amsterdam. Diltz
lives in New York City where she maintains a private voice studio. She teaches
voice, vocal pedagogy, and jazz history, and is the director of Adelphi Opera
Theatre at Adelphi University.
Diltz said that this year an
orchestra would accompany all three productions. Scheduled performances are:
Cavalli’s La Calisto – For this bawdy Baroque
production, Diltz said that early music specialists would perform with
authentic period instruments, such as the gamba (a bass violin), theorbo (a
lute-like stringed instrument), harpsichord, and recorder. The instruments also
will be on display in the Fain Fine Arts Theatre. La Calisto will be directed and conducted by Timothy Nelson, with
assistant director Ryan Landis and assistant conductor Emily Baltzer.
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July
La Cenerentola – This family-friendly retelling of the
Cinderella story by Rossini will be directed by the University of Alabama’s
Director of Opera Theater Paul Houghtaling and conducted by Brian Holman, with
assistant conductor Esme Wong.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25, and 2:30
p.m. Sunday, July 28
The Little Prince – Rachel Portman’s opera, performed in
English, of the classic children’s book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry will be directed
by acclaimed stage director Corinne Hayes and conducted by Marc Sanders,
pianist at Abilene Christian University.
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, and
2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 27
performances will be in the Fain Fine Arts Center Theatre. The RRLO invites
Wichita Falls Youth Sympathy Orchestra members to the performances at no
charge. General admission tickets are $10. MSU students, faculty, and staff
will be admitted free.
more information visit Red River Lyric
Opera’s website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.