Conservatory of Music embarks on journey of musical history with “Opera Odyssey”

Opera Chapman students perform some of opera's greatest works in "Opera Odyssey."

Opera Chapman students perform some of opera’s greatest works in “Opera Odyssey,” opening Friday, Oct. 19.

Chapman University’s College of the Performing Arts is set to embark on its second journey through beloved scenes from opera’s history with Opera Chapman’s new production
2012: An Opera Odyssey
– a follow-up to last year’s first
Opera Odyssey.

The Opera Chapman performances will run Oct. 19-20 at 7:30 p.m., with a final performance on Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. General admission to the show is $15, and $10 for senior citizens and students.  Tickets may be purchased
or by calling the Chapman University Ticket Office at 714-997-6812.

This year’s show picks up masterpieces in the 18
century and follows the progression of opera over the next 200 years, says Peter Atherton, who directs Opera Chapman.  “These concerts will entertain and engage as well as educate audiences about this beautiful art form,” he said.   “This is a perfect introduction to this form of music, since some of opera’s most famous pieces will be performed.”

The production features pieces familiar to audiences, such as arias from
The Marriage of Figaro
by Mozart and 
La Boheme
 by Puccini, as well as other pieces by some of the best-known composers in history, including Beethoven, Rossini and Verdi.

“Between each musical piece there will be a brief introduction explaining the techniques used and why the composer chose the stories he did,” said Atherton.

A total of 44 students, from freshmen to seniors, will perform seven pieces in this production.  Renowned operatic soprano Carol Neblett, now an artist-in-residence and voice instructor on the Chapman music faculty, is the associate director, along with fellow Chapman University professors David Alt, assistant director; Cheryl Fielding, music director; and Janet Kao, principal coach.

Chapman University’s opera program is part of the Conservatory of Music’s vocal performance major, in the College of the Performing Arts.  Inaugurated in 2001, the program has graduated alumni who now perform with some of the finest opera companies in the world, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Los Angeles Opera, among others.

Dawn Bonker

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