UALR Opera Theatre Announces 2009-2010 Season

The UALR Opera Theatre announces a series of eight performances for the new season, including a gala benefit concert and two operas with orchestra.

Kicking off the season will be five performances of Gian Carlo Menotti’s beloved Christmas opera, “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” Dec.4 through 6. Opening night will be a $50 benefit premiere performance and champagne reception honoring Mary Worthen.

Next is a benefit performance for the vocal arts program, “Puccini Paradiso,” on Feb.19, featuring guest tenor Dominick Rodriquez, the UALR voice faculty, and the UALR Concert Choir. Both performances will be held in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall in the UALR Fine Arts Building.

Edward Crafts, director of the UALR Opera Theatre, said he met Rodriguez in Italy this summer.

“I think he is the most exciting young tenor I have heard in many years,” Crafts said. “We are very fortunate to be able to hear him in Little Rock — I just hope the Met doesn’t snatch him away from us.”

In April 2010, the UALR Opera Theatre will present a new version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s classic “The Magic Flute” April 16 and 18 at Wildwood Park for the Arts. Premiere seating with a champagne reception is $25 benefitting the UALR opera program.

Crafts said the Opera Theatre increased the number of performances this season in response to audience demand.

“The productions are extremely popular operas, and we wanted to make sure that we have enough seats available for everyone who wants to attend,” Crafts said. “’Amahl and the Night Visitors’ is a perennial favorite during the holidays, and ‘The Magic Flute’ is the perfect opera for the entire family.”

Tickets will be available at the UALR Music Department Box Office three weeks in advance of the performances. General admission for both operas is $15, and children or students are $5. UALR students are free with ID and reservation.

For more information about the UALR Opera Theatre or the season’s productions, contact Crafts at (501) 569-3033 or (501) 569-8993.

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