Ouachita Baptist University’s Opera Theatre will present Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 19-21 and at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 in the Jones Performing Arts Center on Ouachita’s campus.
“The performances of an opera, not only those of the OBU Opera Theatre, are an enriching experience,” said Dr. Jon Secrest, chair of OBU’s department of applied music and the co-director and conductor of Gianni Schicchi. “Since this is a comedy, audience member are guaranteed an evening of laughter and light-hearted fun.”
Gianni Schicchi is a one-act comedic opera to be sung in Italian with English surtitles. The story of love, deceit and family bickering will be approximately one hour in length. Recently deceased Cousin Buoso Donati has left his beloved family members out of his last will and testament in favor of the friars of the local parish. This does not resonate well with the devoted family, so they decide to involve Gianni Schicchi, reputedly the cleverest man in all Firenze, to help them figure it out. What ensues is a highly charged story of trickery and high jinks.
“We felt in this time and place that Gianni Schicchi was an excellent opera to introduce our students to singing in the original language,” Secrest said. “In addition, we have a very talented group of singers whose vocal gifts match the requirements of Gianni Schicchi perfectly.”
The production team for Gianni Schicchi also includes Dr. Glenda Secrest, OBU associate professor of music and co-director of the show, and Joey Licklider, director of the Jones Performing Arts Center, who serves as technical director and designer for the opera.
“I really enjoy seeing how the students grow from day to day in their musical and character development,” noted Dr. Glenda Secrest. “The transformation that occurs from the first day of rehearsal to opening night is incredible. I am so proud of this cast and their commitment to the development of their art.”
The opera will be fully produced with sets, lighting, costumes and orchestral accompaniment, including student from the Ouachita instrumental program and string players from the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, Marc-Andre Bougie, conductor, and Ouachita alumnus R. Andrew Clark, orchestra manager.
Tickets for the general public are $8 and may be purchased by calling the Jones Performing Arts Center box office at (870) 245-5563or by visiting www.obu.edu/finearts. OBU students may obtain one complimentary ticket for the performance of their choice by presenting a current student ID at the JPAC box office between the hours of 2-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or at the performance.
For more information, contact Dr. Jon Secrest at (870) 245-5134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Molly Magee