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LSU Opera

LSU Opera, one of the first major university programs in the United States, has produced exceptional singers who have sung on world opera stages such as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and New York City Opera. LSU Opera annually produces two main stage productions, fully staged, designed, costumed, and accompanied by the LSU Symphony Orchestra, along with two smaller, staged shows and numerous outreach performance opportunities. In addition to private voice lessons with faculty, students receive one-on-one coaching with the opera music director and extensive training in acting and stage-craft from the opera stage director.

All LSU Opera performances in the Claude L. Shaver Theatre, Music & Dramatic Arts Building

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Spring 2017 Productions

Le nozze di Figaro

March 30-31, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
April 1, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
April 2, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Written by Lorenzo Da Ponte in the Claude L. Shaver Theatre

Directed by Dugg McDonough
Conducted by Michael Borowitz

Le nozze di Figaro One of the ten most frequently performed operas, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) is a comic opera in four acts composed in 1786 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with an Italian libretto written by Lorenzo Da Ponte. Experience a day and night filled with romance, madness and joy.

She Loves Me

April 21, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
April 23, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

Music by Jerry Bock, Written by Sheldon Harnick in the Claude L. Shaver Theatre

Directed by Dennis Jesse
Conducted by Michael Borowitz

She Loves Me If you saw You’ve Got Mail, you will enjoy the opera She Loves Me. Consistently at odds with each other at work, Georg Nowack and Amalia Balash are unaware that each is the other’s secret pen-pal met through a lonely-hearts ad. Love can come from unexpected places.

The Rake’s Progress

October 27-29, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
October 30, 2016 at 3:00 p.m.

Music by Igor Stravinsky, Written by W.H. Auden & Chester Kallman in the Claude L. Shaver Theatre

Directed by Dugg McDonough
Conducted by Michael Borowitz

The Rake’s Progress an opera in three acts, is based on the eight paintings by William Hogarth that Stravinsky saw on May 2,1947, in a Chicago exhibition. The opera depicts the decline and fall of Tom Rakewell, who deserts Anne Trulove for the delights of London in the company of Nick Shadow, the Devil. Due to Shadow’s misadventures, Tom ends up in London’s Bedlam, a hospital for the ‘insane‘. The moral: “For idle hearts, hands and minds the Devil finds work to do.”

Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera)

November 18, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
November 20, 2016 at 3:00 p.m.

Music by Kurt Weill, Libretto by Bertolt Brecht in the Claude L. Shaver Theatre

Directed by Dugg McDonough
Conducted by Michael Borowitz

Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) A brilliant parody of 18th-century opera, Die Dreigroschenoper is a celebration of the unique collaboration of Brecht‘s political satire as sharp as Mack the Knife‘s blade, combined with Weill‘s edgy 1920s jazz harmonies and cabaret orchestration.

Spring 2016 Productions

L’italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers)

March 3-5, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
March 6, 2016 at 3:00 p.m.

Composed by Rossini
Performed in Italian with English Supertitles in the Claude L. Shaver Theatre

Directed by Dugg McDonough
Conducted by Michael Borowitz

Serious opera that is funny! Italian composer Rossini was 21 when he created L’Italiana in Algeri. This opera perfectly blends his talent of mixing serious topics with funny opera, creating a work that remains relevant today. The beautiful Isabella sails off to Algiers in search of her lover Lindoro, held prisoner by the tyrant Mustafa. However, her ship runs aground and an adventure ensues. This opera includes pirates, concubines, eunuchs and a 19th century Turkish seaside palace with beautiful and brilliant arias and a virtuosity that is truly Rossini!

Opera NOW!

Friday, April 15, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 3:00 p.m.

Exploring Literature, Art and War

Join us to celebrate 21st century American opera! Hear new, audience-friendly works of the lyric theater that have greatly enriched our world with adaptations of great literature and works inspired by art and themes of war. LSU Opera is thrilled to celebrate this American artistic renaissance of the past decade, highlighting operas based on works such as The Grapes of Wrath, Moby Dick and Cold Mountain.

Fall 2015 Productions

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

November 5-7, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
November 8, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheelerr
From an adaptation by Christopher Bond

Performed in English in the Claude L. Shaver Theatre

Directed by Dugg McDonough
Conducted by Michael Borowitz

Sometimes a shave can be too close for comfort! An operatic version of the Broadway hit Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street provides a chilling LSU Fall season opener. Unjustly sent to prison, a man vows revenge, not only for his jail punishment, but also for what happened to his wife and daughter. When he reopens his barber shop, he becomes Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, who “shaved the faces of gentlemen who never thereafter were heard of again.” Sweeney’s amorous accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, creates diabolical meat pies with unusual ingredients from Sweeney Todd’s diabolical client interactions.

SWEENEY TODD is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows.com

Season Underwriter: John G. Turner & Jerry G. Fischer
Additional Underwriters: BRAVO (Baton Rouge Area Volunteers for Opera), Baton Rouge Opera Guild

The Mikado

Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.

Composed by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

Performed in English in the Claude L. Shaver Theatre

Directed by Dennis Jesse
Conducted by Michael Borowitz

Love can be complicated! Delighting audiences for well over 100 years, The Mikado is arguably Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular comic opera. Opening in 1885 at London’s Savoy Theatre and running for a historic 672 performances, The Mikado achieved success by satirizing both the political state of 19th-century England and the country’s cultural preoccupation with Orientalism.

The opera focuses on Nanki-Poo, son of the Mikado of Japan, who flees his father’s imperial court to escape marriage with Katisha, the Mikado’s elderly daughter-in-law-elect. Disguised as a traveling musician, he meets and falls in love with Yum-Yum, the young ward of Ko-Ko, a common tailor. However, Yum-Yum is already betrothed to her guardian Ko-Ko, who was recently appointed Lord High Executioner of the town of Titipu despite being next on the chopping block himself. Nanki-Poo cannot possess Yum-Yum so long as Ko-Ko stands in his way, for how is the Lord High Executioner to behead himself? Desperate for Yum-Yum, what must Nanki-Poo do?

Season Underwriter: John G. Turner & Jerry G. Fischer
Additional Underwriters: BRAVO (Baton Rouge Area Volunteers for Opera), Baton Rouge Opera Guild

Past Productions

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