UCLA Department of Music and Committee on Fine Arts Productions present
3 One Act Operas
Donizetti - Rita (Sung in English)
Puccini - Suor Angelica (Sung in Italian)
Offenbach - Mariage aux Lanternes (Sung in French)
Tuesday, February 26, 1980
Wednesday, February 27
Thursday, February 28
Fridays, February 29 and March 7
Saturdays, March 1 and 8
Little Theater, Schoenberg Hall
(or, the Battered Husband)
Although Donizetti composed Rita in 1841, this ilttle one-act farce was not premiered until fifteen years after his death in 1860 at the Opéra-Comique. Collaborating with G. Vaez (the librettist of La Favorite), he finished the work in only eight days. The comedy tells of the return of Rita’s first husband Gasparo, who was long thought dead, and the instruction of Beppo, her present husband, in the art of handling an overpowering wife. The lovely melodies and comic ensembles of this short work show Donizetti’s mastery of the comic operatic genre which was to come to full flower two years later with Don Pasquale.
Premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 1918, Suor Angelica is one of three one-act operas which Puccini called his triptych. Unbeknownst to the other nuns, Sister Angelica has joined the convent as penance for having an illegitimate child and bringing scandal to her noble family. Her aunt, the Princess arrives after seven years of silence to demand that Angelica sign a document renouncing any claims to inheritance to her younger sister who is about to be married. Angelica willingly signs asking for news of her son. The Princess coldly tells her that the child has been dead for two years and leaves refusing forgiveness. Hysterical with grief, Angelica takes poison. Realizing that she has committed a mortal sin, she begs the Virgin to forgive her. As she dies a vision appears, the Virgin leading a little child while a heavenly chorus sings of her salvation.
Le Mariage Aux Lanternes
(Marriage by Latern Light)
Composed in 1853, Offenbach’s charming comedy soon became a very exportable hit with performances in Germany, Englad and America soon after. A young farmer, Guillot, has been sent a young ward, his distant cousin Denise. Their Uncle Mathurin has plans of bringing the two young people together. Guillot appears to be the only available candidate for marriage to the two saucy widows of the village Fanchette and Catherine but his credibility as a husband improves greatly when he receives a letter from Uncle Mathurin telling of a treasure to be found on his farm. The instructions are to dig in his front yard when the angelus (vesper bell) sounds. The two widows overhear these instructions and after fighting about who should capture the farmer and his treasure decide to return that evening to get their man. Denise has also received a letter from Uncle Mathurin telling her to wait in the yard when the angelus sounds. She falls asleep and is discovered by Guillot in his search for treasure. The treasure is, of course, Denise and the young paid agree to be married, leaving Franchette and Catherine to find another man to marry.
Notes by John Hall
The UCLA Opera Workshop has been training vocalists for the operatic stage for thirty years. Founded by Dr. Jan Popper in 1950, UCLA has maintained a tradition of exciting and innovative opera ever since. Students are given intensive musical and dramatic coaching as well as instruction in stage movement, foreign language diction, audition techniques, and concert procedures. The Workshop productions range from standard operatic literature to rarely heard contemporary and Baroque operas. Under its present director, Samuel Krachmalnick, the UCLA Opera Workshop has performed such works as Verdi’s La Traviata, Puccini’s La Bohème and the Brecht-Weill Mahagonny to public and critical acclaim. Tonight’s productions of three one-act operas provide a wide number of young singers (many of them are making their operatic debuts) a chance to test their operatic skills. We hope that you enjoy these seldom heard little operas and will continue to support our young singers as the UCLA Opera Workshop enters it’s fourth decade.
General Admission and other Students: $3.00
UCLA Students, Faculty, Staff, and Senior Citizens (with identification): $2.00
UCLA Department of Music
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