Opera at the Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival
Elizabeth Steffensen and Phillip Solyntjes in Pagliacci, one of UMD's spring operas 2010. Both performers will participate in UMD's new Opera Training Program this summer.
Elizabeth Steffensen and William Lucas in Pagliacci. Lucas will also participate in the new UMD Opera Training Program.
Regina Zona, UMD Opera Director
This year, the Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival presents a full production of Mozart’s opera, Don Giovanni. The story centers on the exploits of Don Juan, the great seducer. All the drama and spectacle will be told in the film noir style, with a touch of humor.
Performances of Don Giovanni are July 14-17 at 7:30 pm in the Marshall Performing Arts Center on the UMD campus. The operatic performances will be the culmination of UMD’s new Opera Training Program. To reserve tickets, call the UMD Box Office at 218-726-8561 or visit http://www.umdartsfest.com for more information. Tickets can be picked up at the UMD Box Office beginning July 12 or at the performances.
On Saturday, July 17, opera lovers can enjoy "Dessert and the Don" with sweets and wine at the Tweed Museum of Art at 6:30 pm. Learn more about Don Giovanni and meet the performers. Then enjoy the opera. Afterwards, take a backstage tour. Cost for this enhanced experience is $50 per person.
The Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival will also feature concerts at Weber Music Hall. Jazz at the Weber will be presented on July 22 at 7:30 pm. Students from the Opera Training Program will present a song recital on July 23 at 7:30 pm; opera scenes and arias from favorite operas on July 29 at 7:30 pm; and an opera gala featuring arias with orchestral accompaniment on August 1 at 2:00 pm. Concert goers can save 10% by purchasing tickets to all four concerts.
On Monday, July 26, at 6:00 pm, Carol Vaness, a renowned singer from the New York City Opera who has performed with such legends as Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo, will present a singing master class at Weber Music Hall. The public is invited to observe this class.
A New Venture
UMD Opera Director Regina Zona developed the new Opera Training Program in which students will hone their skills in interpreting music, acting, performing, auditioning, networking, and building a successful resume. They will also experience classes in stage combat, courtly dance, Alexander Technique, and yoga for singers.
Thirty-five singers from across North America will gather at UMD, June 26 through August 1, for an intensive five-week curriculum geared towards building their operatic careers. There were over 100 applicants, with auditions held in Minneapolis, Chicago and New York for the coveted training program slots.
"This program is unique to Minnesota and, I believe, to the upper Midwest. Students will not only receive wonderful training, they will perform in Don Giovanni, a major opera that is staged each year all over the world. From that, they will gain valuable experience," Zona said.
Zona has brought together an outstanding group of artists to train, guide, and inspire the students. "Young opera singers thinking about an opera career need to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. In this program, they will not only learn the skills that they need, they will also have a better understanding of what the business of opera is like," Zona said.
Cindy Sadler, fresh from singing Marcellina in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at the Des Moines Metro Opera, will present a workshop on the business of singing. "Cindy will teach students about crafting their resumes, finding work, working as singers, and understanding that they are the CEO of their business," Zona noted.
Maestro Gaetano Colajanni, a familiar artist to Duluthians, returns to conduct Don Giovanni. Douglas Sumi of the Los Angeles Opera; Rolando Garza Rodriguez from Basel, Switzerland; and Alison Feldt of St. Olaf College will join UMD’s voice faculty Rachel Inselman and Kelly Anderson as teachers and coaches.
Ken Benson, an agent with Columbia Artists, and Gregory Carpenter, the General Director of Opera Colorado, will participate in an audition technique panel. "Mock auditions will give students feedback, telling them how they present themselves and what they can do better," Zona said.
The program has much to offer these young artists and as Zona points out, "when they are not in a rehearsal room, they'll be in a beautiful city on a gorgeous lake." After all, summer in Duluth could make anyone want to burst into song.
For more information, visit http://www.umdartsfest.com.
Written by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, firstname.lastname@example.org