Ralph Opera Center presents American opera one-acts


photo of Pasatieri
Thomas Pasatieri

The Charles & Reta Ralph Opera Center at CSU is presenting two American opera one-acts on Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Runyan Rehearsal Hall at the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited.

These one-act operas by American composers are opportunities for students to perform repertoire from pieces not often staged in their entirety. The workshop enables these developing singers to perform music that they may not have had an opportunity to otherwise perform, and allows audiences a chance to see shorter, more rarely performed pieces.

Comedy and tragedy will be presented in Thomas Pasatieri’s Signor Deluso alongside Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium, directed by Tiffany Blake. Throughout the performances, minimal sets and costumes require a sense of imagination, creating a profound acting experience for both the singers and the audience.

“It really allows the students an opportunity to learn about developing a character, and how to memorize and perform the music in a staged setting,” said Blake, director of the Ralph Opera Center at CSU. “With minimal staging, costuming, and scenery, there is more emphasis on creating the unique personality of their characters.”

Pasatieri’s Signor Deluso is a short comic opera written and performed in English about one woman’s struggle with being married off to a man she does not love. Based on Molière’s The Imaginary Cuckold, this opera runs approximately 30 minutes in length.

In contrast, Menotti’s The Medium is a short dramatic opera about a woman’s fascination with the afterlife. Ghosts, a séance, and murder are all packed into this hour-long thriller.

About Tiffany Blake

Praised by Opera News Online for her “truly virtuoso performance, immaculate tone, good support and breath to spare,” soprano Blake received her D.M.A. in Vocal Performance with a minor in Opera Stage Direction from the Eastman School of Music, where she also earned her M.M. and was awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate. Read more.

About the Ralph Opera Center

photo of Menotti
Gian Carlo Menotti

The Ralph Opera Center, housed at the state-of-the-art University Center for the Arts, is named in honor of Charles and Reta Ralph in recognition of their generous and continuing support of opera at Colorado State University. The Ralphs’ benevolence provides programmatic support and professional development opportunities, as well as a broad scholarship support system for students studying vocal performance. Auditions for the Ralph Opera Center are held at the beginning of each semester and are open to all CSU students. Read more.

The Ralph Opera Center performs two fully staged productions with orchestra each semester, as well as multiple opera scenes programs, spanning the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern eras. Past presentations include: Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate, Benjamin Brittin’s The Rape of Lucretia, Verdi’s Falstaff, Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Mozart’s Magic Flute, Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Domenico Cimarosa’s Il segreto matrimonio, Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow, Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience, Massenet’s Cendrillon, and Mozart’s Idomeneo.

For a full performance and event calendar, more information, and to sign up for a free event e-newsletter, visit UCA.Colostate.edu.

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The University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society.

For more information, visit UCA.Colostate.edu.

This story was written by Emma Schenkenberger