The University of Lethbridge opera group will perform in Fernie on Oct. 23.

Opera students to perform in Fernie

Opera singers from the University of Lethbridge will perform in Fernie later this month.

Submitted by Fernie Friends of Opera

The leading talent of The University of Lethbridge Department of Music’s Opera Workshop will be showcased in a special live concert in Fernie on Friday, October 23. The performance will be held at the Mountainside Community Church (1622 10th Ave) at 7:00pm, with admission by donation.

This live concert will include work by Mozart, Herbert, Puccini, Gilbert and Sullivan, Verdi, Massenet, Humperdinck and  more, with arias and ensembles from the 24 members of the Opera Workshop. Two  accompanists on the grand piano will join with them, all under the direction of Dr. Blaine Hendsbee.

The concert is hosted by Fernie Friends of Opera, whose monthly screenings of opera productions from around the world have become a popular event at the Arts Station amongst both opera lovers and those curious about this wonderfully rich art form. Opera encompasses symphonic  music , phenomenal choral, vocal and acting skills, dance,  and stagecraft spanning styles from minimalist to opulent. There’s something for everyone in the world of opera!

The University of Lethbridge Opera Workshop was created in 2000 by Dr. Blaine Hendsbee, Artistic Director, and has gained a reputation as one of the foremost undergraduate operatic training ensembles in the country. The course of study introduces students to operatic stagecraft techniques, and then allows them to expand these skills as their voices mature and grow, assuming larger and more demanding singing and acting challenges as opportunities present themselves. Each fall the group performs a Gala Concert of operatic excerpts, and a fully staged production in the spring in co-operation with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra. Past Opera Workshop productions include: The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus, Dido and Aeneas, The Old Maid and the Thief, The Medium, The Beggars Opera, The Dialogues of the Carmelites, The Mikado, HMS Pinafore and the Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors. This year’s major events include productions of Puccini’s tragic opera Suor Angelica (Nov.6/7, 2015), and Hansel and Gretel (Jan. 29/30, 2016) in cooperation with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra.

Fernie Friends of Opera encourages you to come out, and bring a friend or two, for this thrilling evening of music to witness the remarkable musical skills of these dedicated young artists. This will be a student-friendly concert (program runs one and a half hours with a short intermission), and is a fine way to encourage our own young people who are interested in learning more about music and performance.

For more information about this concert or coming screenings, contact Fernie Friends of Opera at opera.fernie@gmail.com or phone 250-423-3769 or 250-423-3792.