Yale Opera presents Fall Scenes

This weekend, students will be able to sample 10 different opera scenes in just one night.

On Friday and Saturday evening, the School of Music’s Yale Opera program will present its annual “Fall Opera Scenes,” the first of three major productions for the 2012-’13 season. Directed by Doris Yarick-Cross, the production will feature students in scenes from both comic and tragic operas by Bizet, Puccini and other composers. The scenes will span a variety of languages and time periods, with each one lasting between 16 and 30 minutes.

Yarick-Cross said each of the 16 students in the program will have the opportunity to perform both leading and supporting roles in scenes that are chosen to develop their abilities as actors and performers.

“We pick a variety of scenes — that’s wonderful fun for the audience [and] gives the singers an optimal advantage to advance,” Yarick-Cross said.

Valerie Webster, the production’s costume coordinator, added that many of the scenes are not set in their original time periods. For example, the scene from “Il Arbiere di Siviglia” (The Barber of Seville) will feature the character Figaro dressed in a sweat suit.

The Yale Opera program, which the School of Music began in 1983, admits four to five students each year. The Yale Opera will perform twice more this year: “I Capuleti e i Montecchi” at the Shubert Theater in February and Tchaikovsky’s “Iolanta” at Morse Recital Hall in May.

Jenna Siladie MUS ’13, a soprano in the program, said the Yale Opera program’s performances are very popular with the local community, attracting New Haven residents as well as professors and undergraduates.

“The presence of opera at Yale is very prominent, and it’s a program that is universally recognized as being one of the top opera programs in the world,” she said. “Our duty as opera singers is to entertain people and to give them an escape from the daily stresses, to let them go on this journey back into time and experience these other languages, costumes and fashions.”

Three undergraduate students interviewed said that although they had not heard of the upcoming performance, they would still be interested in attending. Halley Kaye-Kaudere ’15 said she thinks undergraduates would attend despite not knowing about Yale Opera specifically due to music’s strong appeal on campus.

In addition to offering students the chance to play major roles in opera excerpts and perform in full productions of major works, the Yale Opera program boasts a strong relationship with the “Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Guiseppe Verdi” in Milan, Italy. Since 2004, Yale Opera has been travelling to Milan over the summer to present a series of joint performances.

Both Friday and Saturday performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall, with tickets priced at $5 for those with a student ID.

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