Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Opera Ensemble, under the direction of Metropolitan Opera baritone Frederick Burchinal, will present a concert performance of scenes from well-known operason Friday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall in the UGA Performing Arts Center. From Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte(The Magic Flute) to Douglas Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe, the concert features scenes that span nearly 200 years of opera. General admission to this concert is free and the public is invited to attend.
Burchinal, Wyatt and Margaret Anderson Professor in the Arts, selected the scenes, along with the concert setting, for the ensemble as a way to showcase the singers with a variety of repertoire. While most of the scenes are tenor/baritone/mezzo and soprano duets, the concert also features a trio, a quintet and an octet. The last of these is the famous “Hojotoho” octet from Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre(Ride of the Valkyries). Accompanying the ensemble for this concert will be opera ensemble coach Gary DiPasquasio and Jacob Coleman on piano.
“The Hojotoho octet is one of the most famous pieces Wagner wrote, one that everyone knows, whether they know of or have ever seen the opera,” Burchinal said. “We have a great group of eight ladies who sing well together, so we wanted to give them, and the audience, the opportunity to experience Wagner right here in Athens since we don’t have the opportunity to offer his full operas.”
In addition to Mozart, Moore and Wagner, the concert also features scenes from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier, and the Cherry Duet from Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz, an opera previously performed by Burchinal with the San Francisco Opera.
“It’s a spectacular opera with this magnificent duet in the middle that is very well-known by itself-but it is rare to hear the entire opera and the audience will get to hear the one piece that has made this opera famous,” Burchinal said.