WPO presents 'I Pagliacci' and 'Gianni Schicchi'
Opera returns to Minot State University's Ann Nicole Nelson Hall May 31 and June 2 with Western Plains Opera Company's production of Leoncavallo's "I Pagliacci" and Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi." Returning artists Vickie Miller, Sam Savage, Jeffrey Madison and MSU graduate Chad Armstrong lead the cast. The operas will be conducted by Neil Casey and directed by Joseph Levitt.
"I am so eager to get these productions on stage and in front of our local audience. It seems like we have been planning them for ages!" said WPO executive director Ken Bowles. This double bill was originally planned for September 2011, but rescheduled due to the Souris River flood.
"I Pagliacci," set in the southern Italian village of Montalto, tells of the lives of Canio and Nedda, members of a troupe of strolling players. Their portrayal becomes real when a love triangle is uncovered, leading to a passionate and fatal conclusion to the evening's performance.
The comedy "Gianni Schicchi" sets the stage for postmortem trickery as the shocked relatives of wealthy Buoso Donati learn he has died and left his estate to charity. A clever deception is planned, but things go comically awry when Donati's impersonator, Gianni Schicchi, re-bequeathes the riches to himself.
"I Pagliacci" will be presented in Italian and "Gianni Schicchi" in English, both with English supertitles. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. The audience is encouraged to arrive early and browse a collection of opera-related silent auction items in the lobby before the performance.
Ticket prices range from $12 to $25 and can be obtained by calling the MSU music office at 858-3185 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.