A New Way to Enjoy a Night at the Opera at SUU

Published: November 02, 2020 | Author: Ashley H Pollock | Read Time: 3 minutes

2020 SUU Vocal StudentSUU Opera Theatre will bring a new method of “experiencing the arts in a way you never imagined” as they perform Opera: Pulling the Strings over the course of four days. The performance will include puppets and marionettes as the performers. The production will take place November 11 through November 14, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. in the Thorley Recital Hall of SUU’s Music Building. This concert is free and open to the public. Audience members will be required to wear masks.

Carol Ann Modesitt, Director of Opera/Voice at SUU, shares, “We have the mandate to wear masks when we sing and to social distance. I thought, ‘How can I make this more interesting to the audience when you can't see the performers faces?’ I kept pondering the possibilities when the lightbulb went on and I thought, ‘Why not use puppets and marionettes?’ I asked the students what they thought about the idea and they enthusiastically agreed and said it would be fun.”

All singers are required to wear masks as they perform. Audience members will also be required to wear masks. Social distancing is essential. Names and phone numbers of each group will be taken to correspond with the current COVID-19 contact tracing measures being taken by the state. No paper programs will be handed out at this event. Audience members will be able to scan a QR code to have the program electronically. A link to the program will also be provided on the day of the show.

Addie Naegle, a senior majoring in music/vocal performance from California, says, “In this production, my favorite piece is the flower duet. Not only is it pretty, it’s one of the few classical pieces well-known in pop culture. All of my songs are really fun, but the flower duet is just gorgeous. It’s really cool to see the creativity that comes out of having to work around COVID-19. At SUU alone, you’ve got the theatre department doing a radio show with their play, the choir with their masked concert, and now the opera doing a series of scenes with puppets. The teachers are amazing, and they have come up with so many ways to make performing still relevant in these times. For me it’s nice to see that humans will go through all kinds of obstacles to share their art and music. If you ask me, the arts are beyond essential. I love knowing that I’m not the only one who believes that.”

Ashlee Elizabeth Brouwer, a sophomore vocal performance major from Highland, Utah, explains, “My favorite piece that I will be performing is The Merry Wives of Windsor duet. I’ve always been a huge fan of Shakespeare and this play specifically. It’s so fun to play around with the acting and it is incredibly funny. I have learned so much about repertoire and different operas during this production. Getting to do various scenes gives us the ability to explore more than one work. The puppets have been really fun to work with! I’ve enjoyed singing with them and playing with them.”

Watch opera in a fun, imaginative way with puppets and marionettes from November 11 through November 14, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. For more information, please visit www.suu.edu/pva/music.

About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA) at Southern Utah University comprises 26 academic programs including liberal arts (BA/BS) and professional (BFA, BM, BMEd) degrees in art, design, dance, music and theatre. It includes graduate programs in the fields of arts administration (MFA, MA), music education (MME), and music technology (MM). More than 60 full-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring nearly 800 majors in the College. CPVA presents over 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year and is affiliated with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Center for Shakespeare Studies. Southern Utah University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit www.suu.edu/pva.

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