Mar 15 2017

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UNC Opera Scenes Production Features Original Works by Student Composers


University of Northern Colorado senior Ashley Driscoll and master’s student Joseph Scardetta will debut compositions spanning themes of revolution, mental health, man vs. machine and, ultimately, stark humanity in UNC Opera Theatre’s “The Opera Garden: Growing New Opera,” 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25 in Hensel Phelps Theater, UCCC.

Driscoll and Scardetta’s compositions are part of their Bachelor of Music capstone and Master of Music thesis, respectively. The program also includes a scene from 2005 setting of George Orwell’s “1984” by American conductor and composer Lorin Maazel.

“Contemporary classical composition is an important mirror on our society, our culture, and the time in which we live,” says Scardetta.

His short opera, “In the Presence of Unknown Light,” based on Victor Hugo’s novel “Les Misérables” will be performed in its entirety. Music History professor Dr. Janice Dickensheets directs the work

“It is wonderful to be able to…be a part of that kind of collaboration in creating the work of art,” says Dickensheets.

UNC Opera Theatre consistently strives to bring new works to the Greeley community and student body. UNCOT performed excerpts of Jake Heggie’s 2010 opera “Moby Dick” last fall, continuing director Brian Luedloff’s commitment to contemporary American opera. The program also produced UNC alum David Conte’s opera “Stonewall” in collaboration with the campus GLBTA Resource Office and Women’s Studies in 2013.

“It’s really important to show opera is still alive,” says sophomore music student Ian Hiester.

With 369 new operas written and produced since 2000 alone, according to Opera America, UNC Opera Theatre is confident the art form is alive and well, and is committed to training well-rounded singers and composers to ensure that it thrives.

UNC Opera presents “The Opera Garden: Growing New Opera,” 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25 in Hensel Phelps Theater, UCCC. Contact the Box Office at (970) 351-2200 or http://arts.unco.edu/events/ for tickets.

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