By Amy Wells
The School of Music's Opera Theater has been rehearsing since last quarter for its upcoming performance of the comedy "Gianni Schicchi" and hopes audiences will take advantage of this rare opportunity to experience opera in the Athens area.
"Opera is a great experience for the student performers," said Richard Crist, director of Opera Theater. "It gives them an opportunity to not only sing on stage but to bring a character of life, be part of the production aspect and create something with 18 other people. It's a real challenge and more than just being part of an ensemble."
Because the production is sharing the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium with many other events, the cast will have little time to set the stage before their performances at 7:30 p.m. April 24 and 25.
"This opera is kind of like watching an episode of 'The Sopranos' but with a comedy twist," Crist said.
"Gianni Schicchi" by Giacomo Puccini is a one-act opera set in Florence and based on a story that is referred to in Dante's "The Divine Comedy." After relatives of the deceased Buoso Donati learn that he left all of his money to a local monastery, they concoct a scheme to rewrite the will. The family teams with Schicchi, who is known for his clever schemes and who crosses the family to will everything to himself.
"You need to come to the opera to see how Gianni turns the tables and steals the money from them," Crist said.
Don't worry if you don't speak Italian -- the opera will be performed in English.
Admission is $10. Ohio University students with a valid ID receive free admission through Arts for Ohio.
'Blues in Black and White'
The Kennedy Museum of Art kicks off spring with its newest photography exhibit, "Blues in Black and White" that will feature 50 to 60 photographs by Stanley Livingston documenting the behind-the-scenes activities and onstage performances of blues legends at the landmark Ann Arbor Blues Festivals of the late 1960s.
"Not only does the exhibit portray some of the most legendary figures every to play blues, but it captures a particular time in America when these two blues festivals occurred in Ann Arbor, Mich.," said Edward Pauley, the John B. and Dareth A. Gerlach Director of the Kennedy Museum of Art. "It's the first time we could document in photographs these mainly black artists playing in front of a mainly white crowd and reflects that pivotal time in America when these two groups who were traditionally segregated started to come together and create dynamic changes in our society."
Including artists such as B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy and Johnny Winter, Livingston's photographs document these events and how a form of American music brought together blacks and whites and also influenced popular music.
"Many of today's artist have been influenced by these artists and students will probably be surprised to discover that the music they listen to, whether it's hip hop and contemporary rock, there is a connection," Pauley said.
The exhibit will open April 17 and run through June 14. An opening reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on April 17. Admission is free to the museum and reception. Museum hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 12 to 5 p.m., Thursday 12 to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.
Don't miss these other arts events:
- The School of Theater will finish its two-week run of "The Trojan Women" this Wednesday through Saturday. Adapted by Ellen McLaughlin, Euripides' play follows the stories of the women of Troy after Greek armies conquered their city and is the third tragedy in a trilogy about the Trojan War. In addition to this weekend "The Trojan Women" will run April 15-18. All performances are at 8 p.m. at the Forum Theater in the RTV Building. Admission is free for OHIO students with a valid ID, $7 for other students and seniors, and $10 for adults.
- Keep an eye on the art galleries. From now until graduation a variety of student BFA and MFA thesis work will be exhibited in the Ohio University Art Gallery in Seigfred Hall and Trisolini Gallery in Baker University Center 405. Exhibits will change about every two weeks. Visit the galleries page for more information: www.finearts.ohio.edu/art/galleries/upcoming.htm.
- The School of Music hosts its annual Clarinet Gala on Sunday, April 19. The gala includes Visiting Artist Recital at 3:30 p.m. and a Potpourri Recital at 6 p.m. Both performances will be in the School of Music Recital Hall and admission is free.
- Visit www.finearts.ohio.edu/artsforohio/ to see the complete Arts for Ohio online calendar.