Opera at University

Opera poster

The University of Redlands School of Music will present a double bill opera featuring excerpts from Mefistofele and the one-act opera, Suor Angelica, on April 12 and 13 in the Memorial Chapel.

Arrigo Boito’s Mefistofele is based on the legend of Faust, and was the only opera completed by the Italian composer, while Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica is a tale of religious redemption. This is the first time in several years that the annual opera is not being performed at Crafton Hills College, but rather in the Memorial Chapel.

“Site specificity is really important to me, so we chose operas that deal with religious subject matter,” said director Marco Schindelmann. “I was interested in creating a triptych featuring three different female characters – Marguerite, Helen of Troy and Sister Angelica, three very different people.”

According to Schindelmann, between the orchestra, choir, and solo singers on stage, most of the School of Music was take part in the production.

“It is a huge undertaking, similar to the Feast of Lights, but in a completely different direction,” he said. “We do very cutting edge productions here. The show was cast a year ago, and they spend the entire year preparing; the first semester is musical, the second staging. Deep learning is very important, and performers have to live with a piece for the course of a year to really understand how a piece can evolve.”

The production will include a video DJ that will be doing real time manipulation of video, as well as supertitles, so the audience can follow along with the Italian words.

“We keep everything as close to the original so a student can step onto any stage in the world and be able to perform,” Schindelmann said.

Performances will be held at 8 p.m. April 12 and 13 at 1200 E. Colton Ave., Redlands. Admission is $10 general, $5 for students. For more information, call 909-748-8700. For tickets, call 909-748-8116.

There are more than 1,700 trees on the University of Redlands campus.

In April 2010, it was designated a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Redlands is among just three other colleges or universities in California to receive this designation.

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