University Opera is a cultural service of the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison whose mission is to provide comprehensive operatic training and performance opportunities for our students and operatic programming to the community. Students sing principal, supporting, and chorus roles in main stage productions, one-act operas, and programs of opera scenes. In addition, we offer training for directors, conductors, and pianists, and, when possible, provide opportunities for student designers, actors, and dancers. Showcases for faculty, alumni, and guest artists are presented when appropriate.
About University Opera
University Opera welcomes students of all levels and degree programs, from doctoral candidates to freshman music education majors, to participate in operatic classes and performances. We present an annual season of two fully staged operas, as well as evenings of opera scenes and one-act operas. Recent productions have included “Don Giovanni”, “Die Fledermaus,” “Falstaff,” “Ariodante,” “Le nozze di Figaro,” and “La bohème.” In addition to main stage presentations, University Opera offers Opera Workshop, a course dedicated to the study of operatic stage skills and repertoire, which culminates each semester in performances of scenes and one-act operas. In addition to our regular season, University Opera has presented special events, including “La Tragédie de Carmen,” “La Serva Padrona,” “The Impresario,” and an evening of opera at the Edgerton Performing Arts Center which featured a one-act version of “Hansel and Gretel.” Students also have the opportunity to perform around the state in outreach programs in schools and arts centers. University Opera often hosts prestigious guest artists in concerts and master classes. Recent guests have included Ben Heppner, Dawn Upshaw, and Barbara Bonney.
Productions for 2014-15
University Opera with UW Opera Orchestra
Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring
October 24, 26, 28, 2014, Music Hall. Tickets available later this fall.
David Ronis, director; Kyle Knox, graduate assistant conductor.
SUNG IN ENGLISH
For their comic chamber opera, Albert Herring, Benjamin Britten and Eric Crozier created an English adaptation of Maupassant’s short story “Le rosier de Madame Husson,” setting it in Suffolk. The lighthearted tale centers on the hapless young greengrocer Albert Herring – timid with girls, hassled by his mother – as the town in which he lives celebrates their annual May Day Festival. Britten’s score provides a satirical backdrop as humorous events unfold.
University Opera and the UW Symphony Orchestra
Mozart’s The Magic Flute
David Ronis, director; James Smith, conductor.
March 13, 15, 17, Music Hall.
Mozart’s popular, family-friendly masterpiece features some of his most sublime music. Prince Tamino, accompanied by his bird-catcher sidekick, Papageno, is charged with rescuing the daughter of the Queen of the Night from the sorcerer, Sarastro.
See our events calendar for more information.
Opera Workshop performances will take place at 7:30 P.M. on November 25 and April 21 in Music Hall. Free admission.
University Opera’s season is made possible by the support of alumni, friends, and community organizations. Due to the significant costs of producing opera, the university can fund only a small fraction of our budget. Generous donors have helped underwrite productions and support students who would not otherwise have been able to attend UW-Madison.
We are deeply grateful for the assistance of the Ann Crow Fund for Voice and Opera and to Opera Props for helping make a high-quality season available to our students and audiences. Our goal is an endowed annual operating fund to provide an infrastructure for recruiting, training, and giving performance opportunities to our singers. We welcome your inquiries about becoming part of our family of donors. To find out more, please contact: Rebekah Sherman at the University of Wisconsin Foundation (608) 265-9793, or Rebekah.Sherman@supportuw.org