UE Students to Perform in Professional Opera Production

Posted: Monday, November 18, 2013

This Saturday, University of Evansville students will share the stage with some of the nation’s leading opera singers in the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra’s production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.

The performance will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, November 23 at the Victory Theatre in Downtown Evansville. Tickets start at $23 and may be purchased on the EPO’s website, www.evansvillephilharmonic.org.

Sung in Italian, with an English translation projected above the stage, Madame Butterfly features a full set from Asheville Lyric Opera in North Carolina and costumes from Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis. Four professional opera singers will perform the lead roles, with approximately 20 UE students and additional members of the Evansville Philharmonic Chorus rounding out the chorus.

“Performing in a professional production of Madame Butterfly, one of the world’s most beloved operas, is an incredibly meaningful opportunity for our students,” said Jon Truitt, associate professor of music and director of UE’s opera program, who staged the production of Madame Butterfly and will also perform a lead role.

“I’m so proud of the dedication and professionalism that students have displayed throughout the rehearsal process: working all semester to master the challenging music, then adding the elements of staging, guest artists, and a full orchestra,” Truitt added. “Saturday’s performance is sure to be unforgettable for both the performers and the audience.”

This weekend’s production of Madame Butterfly marks the first time in 10 years that the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra has brought a fully staged opera to the Victory Theatre. Madame Butterfly was the orchestra’s first fully staged operatic production, performed to sold-out houses in 1999, and returns this year in celebration of Maestro Alfred Savia’s 25th season with the EPO.

Madame Butterfly tells the story of a Japanese geisha who gives up everything she knows to marry an American naval officer. What results is a compelling clash of cultures, forcing the young bride to make an excruciating decision.

The University of Evansville wishes to thank the Alcoa Foundation, Friends of UE Music, and the William E. Schmidt Foundation for their support of this production.

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