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2010-11 Opera Season at Bienen School Begins Oct. 19

Events include master class, workshop and operas by Mozart and Weill

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October 15, 2010 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- While in Chicago playing the title role of Verdi’s “Macbeth” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, baritone Thomas Hampson will visit Northwestern University’s Evanston campus to help launch the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music’s 2010-11 opera season. He will teach a vocal master class Oct. 19.

A fall workshop musical revue of comic songs and scenes (Nov. 4 and 5), winter performances of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” (Feb. 24 to 27) and a spring production of Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene” (May 20 through 22), a Northwestern Opera Theater premiere, will round out the Bienen School’s opera season.

Events are open to the public and will take place in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive; Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; or Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., as noted.

The 2010-11 opera season follows:

Vocal master class led by guest baritone Thomas Hampson at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. As a recitalist, opera singer and recording artist, Hampson has performed with leading singers, pianists, conductors and orchestras in the United States and across Europe. His more than 150 albums have earned him a Grammy Award, two Edison prizes and the Grand Prix du Disque. Hampson will coach pre-selected Bienen School voice students. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students with valid IDs.

“The Grad II Revue: On the Lighter Side” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, in Lutkin Hall. In a performance staged by Jay Lesenger with musical direction by Alan Darling, singers from the Bienen School’s Graduate II Opera Workshop will perform the music of Leonard Bernstein, Sheldon Harnick, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter, Ben Moore and others. Admission is free.

Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27, in Cahn Auditorium. Staged by Jay Lesenger, Bienen School director of opera, Mozart’s fairytale has enchanted audiences for more than 200 years with its unusual mix of symbolism, comedy and music. A handsome prince and an abducted princess are caught between the warring forces of the Queen of the Night and the Priests of the Sun. A magic flute leads the young lovers to truth and light. Their comic companion, the bird catcher Papageno, uses his magic bells to find a pretty wife and a good dinner. The production features music by Mozart and Andrew Porter’s translation of Emanuel Schikaneder’s libretto. Dean Williamson will conduct the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are $22 for the general public; $18 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students with valid IDs.

• The University’s Evanston campus premiere of Northwestern Opera Theater’s production of Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 20; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 21; and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22, in Cahn Auditorium. Based on Elmer Rice’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Weill’s classic Broadway opera brings 1930s New York to life. The sidewalk outside a Manhattan apartment building becomes the stage for comedy and drama. The opera tells the story of Anna Maurrant, a woman who seeks refuge from her loveless marriage with tragic results. Staged by Jay Lesenger, the production will feature music by Weill, lyrics by Langston Hughes, book by Elmer Rice and the Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Robert G. Hasty. “Street Scene” is presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals, the theatrical licensing division of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization in New York. Tickets are $18 for the general public; $15 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $8 for students with valid IDs.

For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit www.pickstaiger.org. To order tickets by phone, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000.