Meadows Opera Theatre

Meadows Opera Theatre opens 2012 with The Marriage of Figaro

John Hendricks as Figaro and Julie Marx as Susanna in the 2012 Meadows Opera Theatre production of The Marriage of Figaro. Photo by Kim Ritzenthaler.

Cupid is at work and at play on Figaro and Susanna’s wedding day – but who is wooing whom?

Just in time for Valentine’s Day month, Meadows Opera Theatre and the Meadows Symphony Orchestra bring to life a cornerstone of the operatic repertoire, The Marriage of Figaro. The production runs Feb. 2-5, 2012, in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

The Marriage of Figaro – with or without its alternate title that translates as The Day of Madness – has charmed audiences since the debut of Pierre Beaumarchais’ original play in 1784. The working-class hero and heroine want only to celebrate their wedding in peace, but the competing agendas of friends, family members and even their aristocratic employers complicate the proceedings.

Count Almaviva, their master, has eyes for the bride, and a mysterious older woman lays claim to the groom. Countess Almaviva wants to win back her husband’s love, while the hormonal teenage page Cherubino wants to win the heart of every female he meets.

The play was banned in Vienna for a time because of its satire of the aristocracy, yet the 1786 opera became one of Mozart’s most successful works during his lifetime. (The composer himself directed its first two performances from the keyboard of his fortepiano.) It was the first of three collaborations with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, with whom he also wrote Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte.

Njabulo Mthimkhulu as Count Almaviva, Julie Marx as Susanna and Paul Kroeger as Don Basilio in the 2012 Meadows Opera Theatre production of The Marriage of Figaro. Photo by Kim Ritzenthaler.

Mozart’s celebrated score will be performed by the Meadows Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities Paul Phillips. Meadows Opera Theatre Director Hank Hammett directs the production, with choreography by Professor of Dance Danny Buraczeski.

The opera will be sung in Italian with projected English translation. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Buy tickets for The Marriage of Figaro online at Vendini or contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Find a complete cast list under the link below. (more…)

Calendar Highlights: Sept. 13, 2011

Scholar and author Stephen ProtheroThe Gartner Honors Lecture Series on SMU’s 2011 Common Reading continues Sept. 14 with”HeLa Cells and the Law,” featuring Jennifer S. Bard, the Alvin R. Allison Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Faculty Research, and Development Director, Health Law Program, at Texas Tech University School of Law. She also serves as associate professor (adjunct) in the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University School of Medicine. The lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. Free and open to the public.

Scholar and bestselling author Stephen Prothero (top right) will speak on “God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World” as part of SMU’s Willson Lecture Series. The lecture draws its title from Prothero’s 2010 book by the same title, in which he argues that attempts to portray all religions as different paths to the same God overlook the distinct human problem that each seeks to solve. The lecture begins at noon Sept. 15 in the Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. Free and open to the public. Read more about Stephen Prothero from SMU News.

Meadows Opera Theatre performs in the Opera Free for FallThe Meadows Opera Theatre (bottom right) celebrates SMU’s 2011 Family Weekend with a new Opera Free for All at 1 p.m. Sept. 16 in the Bob Hope Theatre Lobby, Owen Arts Center. Called “New Faces and Old Friends,” the show will feature new and returning soloists in the Meadows Opera Ensemble performing arias, songs and scenes. Free and open to the public; bring your lunch. For more information, call the Division of Music, 214-768-1951. Read a 2010 Q&A on the Opera Free for All with Meadows Opera Theatre Director Hank Hammett, by SMU Meadows student Chris Calloway.

Calendar Highlights: April 26, 2011

'Tomorrow' DVD coverSpecial screening: Friends of the SMU Libraries and the Fondren Library Media Collection will screen the 1972 independent film Tomorrow at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. Directed by Joseph Anthony and adapted by Horton Foote from the William Faulkner story, the film stars Robert Duvall – who made his screen debut in another Foote adaptation, To Kill a Mockingbird, and won an Academy Award for his performance in the film version of Foote’s Tender Mercies. Duvall plays Jackson Fentry, a Mississippi cotton farmer who leaves his father’s farm for a job at a sawmill, where he meets Sarah Eubanks (Olga Bellin), a pregnant woman abandoned by her husband. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Lisa Daniels Wall, 214-768-4397.

Singers’ showcase: The Meadows Opera Theatre presents a special performance by its young artists in the Opera Free For All Brown Bag Series: Singers’ Showcase at 1 p.m. Friday, April 29 in the Bob Hope Theatre lobby, Owen Arts Center. Admission is free – bring your lunch.

Mane Event 2011: The Student Foundation throws its end-of-the-year party Friday, April 29, this year with a Latino flavor. “Fiesta SMU” takes place 2-5 p.m. on the lawn in front of Dallas Hall and includes live music, carnival games, inflatables and plenty of free food. The party is free and open to the entire SMU community.

Celebrating 1911: The Meadows Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Jack Delaney, celebrates the 100th anniversary of SMU’s founding with a special 1911 Centennial Ice Cream Social Concert at 8 p.m. Friday, April 29 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. The program focuses on marches, rags and folk-influenced works that were new and exciting in 1911 and remain fresh today – including pieces by Percy Grainger, Herbert L. Clarke (the famed cornet player of the John Philip Sousa Band), Gustav Holst, Ring & Hager, John Philip Sousa, James Reese Europe and Henry Fillmore. Audience members will enjoy free ice cream sundaes in the lobby during intermission and may bring their treats back to their seats for the second half of the program. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Parking is available at Hillcrest and Binkley and in the garage beneath the Meadows Museum. Buy tickets online or get more information from Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS). Read more about the 1911 Centennial Ice Cream Social Concert program.

Calendar Highlights: April 27, 2010

SMU's Meadows Opera TheatreCalling Judge Judy: Reality TV meets Gilbert & Sullivan in Meadows Opera Theatre‘s reimagining of the British duo’s Trial By Jury at 1 p.m. April 30 in the Bob Hope Theatre lobby, Owen Arts Center. Hilarity ensues when a lawsuit for breach of marriage promise is brought before the bench of a fat-cat judge and his televised courtroom, while a comic turn of events shows that the course of true love runs in surprising directions. Admission is free. For more information, call the Division of Music, 214-768-1951.

2010 M.F.A. Dance Thesis Concert: Master’s degree candidates in the Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Dance present their original choreography and restagings of choreographic masterworks at 8 p.m. April 30-May 1 and 2 p.m. May 2 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Buy tickets online or contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

SMU's Meadows Symphony OrchestraStars on stage: SMU’s Meadows Symphony Orchestra presents the winners of the annual Meadows Concerto Competition – one each in keyboard, strings, voice and woodwinds/brass/percussion – in the 2010 Stars of Tomorrow concert at 8 p.m. April 30 and 3 p.m. May 2 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Buy tickets online or contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

2010 B.F.A. Qualifying Exhibition: Bachelor’s degree candidates in the Meadows Division of Art present their work in a variety of styles and media in this annual exhibition, running May 3-15 in the Pollock Gallery, Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Admission is free. For more information, call the gallery at 214-768-4439.

Meadows Opera Theatre presents a Mozart classic Feb. 4-7

Scene from Meadows Opera theatre production of Mozart's 'Il re pastore'-'The Shepherd King'The Meadows Opera Theatre, directed by Hank Hammett and conducted by Paul Phillips, debuts its production of a classic opera by a teenaged Wolfgang Mozart this week. Il re pastore (The Shepherd King) runs Feb. 4-7 in the Bob Hope Theatre in SMU’s Owen Arts Center.

Written in 1775, when Mozart was only 19, the libretto features Alexander the Great in a major role. After the conqueror deposes the ruling tyrant of the city of Sidon, he searches for the true heir to the throne, who turns out to be a shepherd boy. The story sets the demands of duty against the demands of love as Aminta, the shepherd-king, struggles with the prospect of an arranged marriage and his own wish to keep to the simple life he knows.

Meadows Opera Theatre comes to the production fresh from winning an important award. In January, with the first entry in its history, the group received second prize for Best Production in the National Opera Association‘s annual competition for its 2009 staging of Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land.

The national award was “an extraordinary honor for our opera program, and it highlights the excellence of our gifted young singing actors and orchestra musicians as well as the superlative training and performance opportunities we are able to give our students,” Hammett said. “This recognition is also a testament to the exceptional interdisciplinary collaboration we have here at Meadows between music, theatre and dance.”

The Shepherd King is sung in Italian with English supertitles. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Find showtimes and buy tickets online, or contact the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

(Above, junior voice major Katrina Galka and Master of Music candidate in voice Dee Donasco as Elisa and Aminta in the Meadows Opera Theatre production of Mozart’s Il re pastore. Photo by Paul Phillips.)

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Buy tickets for The Shepherd King

Calendar Highlights: Dec. 1, 2009

Meadows Opera TheatreHoliday high notes: The Meadows Opera Theatre presents an Opera Free For All “On the Eve of Christmas,” featuring scenes set on Christmas Eve from Massenet’s Werther and Act II of Puccini’s La Bohème. The brown-bag concert begins at 1 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Bob Hope Theatre lobby, Owen Arts Center. Free and open to the public. For more information, call the Division of Music at 214-768-1951.

Musical rites: Meadows faculty members Emanuel Borok, violin, and Andrés Díaz, cello, will join the Meadows Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Brahms’ Double Concerto. The orchestra’s final program of 2009 will open with Dvorak’s Amid Nature overture and conclude with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Dec. 4 and 3 p.m. Dec. 6 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

The Sharp Show from the SMU Meadows Division of DanceSharp moves: Meadows School of the Arts presents The Sharp Show, an annual showcase of outstanding works choreographed and produced by seniors in the Division of Dance. The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Dec. 5 and 7 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Sharp Studio, Room B100, Owen Arts Center. Free and open to the public. For more information, call the Division of Dance at 214-768-2718.

Lunch with Friends: George W. Bush Presidential Library Director Alan C. Lowe will present the program at the Friends of the SMU Libraries/Colophon annual holiday luncheon, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 8 at the Royal Oaks Country Club, 7915 Greenville Avenue. The cost is $35 for Friends members, $50 for non-members. Valet parking provided. RSVP by Dec. 3 to Cynthia Ruppi, 214-768-3225.

Calendar Highlights: Nov. 10, 2009

Plantation store, 1939Clements Center Brown Bag Lecture: Clements Center Fellow Sarah Cornell examines the clashes between workers and planters in early 20th-century Mississippi and Louisiana in “Planters and Peons: Mexican Workers in the U.S. South” at noon Nov. 11 in the Texana Room, DeGolyer Library. Bring your lunch. For more information, contact the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, 214-768-3684. (Right, African American and Mexican cotton pickers in a plantation store, Mississippi Delta, 1939.)

“Holocaust Legacies” symposium: A panel of Holocaust historians, educators and survivors – as well as gerontologists, social workers and pastoral care clergy – will discuss findings from a study on resilience, forgiveness and survivorship among older Holocaust survivors in “Holocaust Survivors: Stories of Resilience.” Presenters include Roberta R. Greene, School of Social Work, University of Texas; and Harriet L. Cohen, Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Department of Social Work, TCU. The symposium takes place 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Great Hall, Perkins Prothro Hall, and is part of the “Holocaust Legacies: Shoah as Turning Point” series presented by SMU’s Human Rights Education Program.

A song in their hearts: The Dallas Opera/SMU Emerging Artist Program presents Opera in a Box: Follow Your Dreams, written and directed by Meadows Opera Theatre Director Hank Hammett. Using props and costumes, four aspiring opera singers share their personal passions, experiences and joys while creating some of their favorite characters onstage. The performance is sung in English and begins at 1 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center. Cosponsored by The Dallas Morning News. Free and open to the public.

Meadows Wind EnsembleSix by Tenn: The Meadows Wind Ensemble (right) leads an evening of music and poetry featuring mezzo-soprano and SMU Professor Virginia Dupuy in a performance of Warren Benson’s Shadow Wood: Six Poems of Tennessee Williams, composed on commission for the Meadows Wind Ensemble and featured on the Ensemble’s first commercial CD in the late 1990s. The program also features Joseph Schwantner’s Music of Amber with Meadows pianist and professor Samuel Holland as guest soloist, Augusta Read Thomas’s Magneticfireflies and a set of works by Toru Takemitsu. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Nov. 13 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 each for students, faculty and staff members. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 ((214-SMU-ARTS).

“Meadows at the Bath House” Series: The Meadows School of the Arts faculty jazz quintet Jampact will perform with videographers and movement artists using live cameras and improvisation to create a unique performance experience. The show begins at 8 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Bath House Cultural Center on White Rock Lake, 521 E. Lawther Drive. Tickets are $5 each. For more information, contact Kim Corbet at 214-542-5663 or visit the Bath House Cultural Center website.

Scary good fun for SMU’s Halloween week

Halloween jack-o-lanternIt’s almost Halloween – seek out some scary fun with these campus activities:

• Enjoy a frightfully good workout with Group X Spooky Spinning, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. All Dedman Center members and guests are invited; no Group X pass is required. Costumes are encouraged. Contact Brook Jimenez, 214-768-4824.

• Bring your own pumpkin and start cutting at SMU’s annual Pumpkin Carving Contest, 6-8 p.m. Oct. 29 at The Falls, Dedman Center. Carving tools will be provided. Jack-o’-lanterns will be displayed through Nov. 6 in the Dedman Center main lobby. Visit and vote for your favorite – prizes will be awarded for the best designs. Contact Tony Bates, 214-768-9916.

Outdoor Adventures offers late-night atmosphere and DJ’ed music in its Halloween Midnight Cosmic Climb, 11 p.m.-1 a.m. Oct. 29 in Dedman Center. Bring your own harness; appropriate shoes will be provided as needed. Costumes are encouraged (must be harness-compatible), and prizes will be awarded for the best men’s and women’s get-ups. Contact David Chambers or Albert Mitugo, 214-768-4822.

SMU Child Care and Preschool holds its annual Halloween Parade beginning at 10 a.m. Oct. 30. The procession begins at Hawk Hall and crosses the street before making its way to Boaz Hall, the flagpole, the Owen Arts Center and beyond. Come out to Bishop Boulevard to see the costumes and treat the tricksters.

Meadows Opera Theatre plays up the magic and make-believe in its annual Halloween Opera Free For All, which will include scenes from La Cenerentola (Cinderella), The Magic Flute, Rusalka, Hansel and Gretel, Once Upon a Mattress and Into the Woods. The free performance begins at 1 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Bob Hope Theatre Lobby, Owen Arts Center. For more information, call the Meadows School of the Arts Division of Music, 214-768-1951.

SMU-in-Plano‘s Community Open House Oct. 30-31 will include trick-or-treating and a costume contest for kids from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Halloween Day. For more information, visit smuplano.com.

Calendar Highlights: April 10, 2008

Art for a cause: SMU will help raise money for refugees of ethnic and political violence as it hosts Art For Darfur 6-9 p.m. April 12 in the Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center. The event features a silent art auction with live music and a “Tents of Hope” community art project. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 general admission, $10 to participate in the tent painting. All proceeds benefit the International Rescue Committee‘s humanitarian work in Darfur and Eastern Chad.

Relay For Life logoA walk to remember: SMU Panhellenic holds its 2008 Relay For Life April 11-12 on Bishop Boulevard. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. April 11. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

Ready for some football? NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks in the Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum noon-1:30 p.m. April 16 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Individual tickets are $60 and can be ordered online.

Renaissance musicians: SMU’s Brown Bag World Music Series presents Renaissance and Celtic music by Cantiga at noon April 16 in the Bob Hope Lobby, Owen Arts Center. Bring your lunch.

The romance of France: The Faculty Club presents a special dinner featuring Professor Emeritus Maurice Elton speaking on “My Love Affair With France.” The event begins at 6 p.m. April 17 in the SMU Faculty Club. Cost is $25 for members; $30 for non-members. RSVP by April 14 to Dee Powell, 8-3012

Greek tragedy: The Meadows Opera Theatre presents Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas – including the rarely performed original Prologue and Epilogue – at 8 p.m. April 18 in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Admission is free.

Aspen Santa Fe Dance CompanyIn McFarlin Auditorium:

  • April 18-19: TITAS presents the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (bottom right) at 8 p.m. both nights. For ticket information, call 214-528-5576.

Calendar Highlights: March 27, 2008

Honor your colleagues: The Office of the Provost seeks nominations of outstanding teaching faculty, tenured and tenure-track, for a number of external teaching awards ranging from $5,000 to $200,000. Those submitting a candidate’s name should include a letter giving the rationale and indicating willingness to be a formal nominator if the person becomes the SMU nominee for an award. Please include names of three additional references for the nominee. Each nomination should be endorsed by the nominee’s department chair; chairs may endorse more than one nominee. Please send nominations to the Office of National Fellowships, Office of the Provost, by April 20, 2008. Watch the SMU Forum for additional information.

Choir of King's College CambridgeFrom Russia with love: Pianist Andrey Ponochevny, winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, and mezzo soprano Marina Khankhalaeva, soloist of Buriatiya State Opera and Ballet Theatre, are featured performers in SMU’s 2008 Russian Festival beginning at 2 p.m. March 29 in the Meadows Museum. The program includes music and songs of Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Gavrilin, Bizet and Rossini. Tickets are $10-$20; admission is free for SMU students and children under 12. For more information, visit the Russian American Center website.

Interdisciplinary Dialogue: SMU’s Perkins School of Theology hosts “Religious Borders, Educational Borders: Cultural Practices and Spiritual Spaces, the Case of Latino Youth” 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 1 in 207 Kirby Hall. Featured speakers include Hector Rivera, assistant professor in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, and Harold Recinos, professor of church and society in Perkins School of Theology. For more information, contact Hector Rivera, 8-2917.

Drumming it up: The Meadows Percussion Ensemble performs with guest artists the Meadows World Music Ensemble at 8 p.m. April 1 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Admission is free.

D founder speaks: D Magazine founder and owner Wick Allison speaks in the next Faculty Club Distinguished Luncheon at noon April 2 in the SMU Faculty Club. Price is $12 for Faculty Club members, $15 for nonmembers. RSVP by March 28 to Dee Powell, 8-3012.

From pews to bleachers: To commemorate the first day of 2008 baseball season, Perkins Associate Professor of Christian Worship Mark Stamm leads a baseball-themed Opening Day service at 11:30 a.m. April 2 in Perkins Chapel.

Art & Soul: The Perkins School of Theology’s 2008 Art & Soul program presents the Choir of King’s College Cambridge (top right) April 3 at the Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2215 Ross Avenue. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. performance. Tickets are $28 and available online from Ticketmaster.

A song for you: The Meadows Opera Theatre performs scenes from opera and musical theatre in “Opera Free For All” at 1 p.m. April 4 in the Taubman Atrium. Bring your lunch.

Salman AhmadIn McFarlin Auditorium:

  • March 29: Dancers, poets and musicians from Algeria, Bosnia, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Syria present A Mystical Journey – Sufi Music and Other Expressions of Devotion from the Muslim World at 2 p.m. For ticket information, e-mail Golden Jubilee USA. (Bottom right, performer Salman Ahmad, photographed by Aziz Ladha.)
  • April 4: The SMU Program Council presents the 2008 edition of Sing Song, featuring student teams performing musical numbers and skits they create themselves. The show begins at 7 p.m.; for more information, call 8-4400.
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