Opera to host performance

| Andrea Hucke reporter |

Students and community members, alike, will have the chance for a night of entertainment with the PSU Opera’s production of Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi.”
The event, free for students, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, and Sunday, Feb. 16, at Pittsburg’s Memorial Auditorium.
“It’ll be a fun night because there’s a little bit of everything,” said Alyssa Marsh, senior in family and consumer sciences and opera member. “The night will consist of two short one-act plays of about 45 minutes each. The first one has a more sad feeling about it, and the second is a comedy.”
PSU Opera hosts two productions every year at Memorial Hall: one in the fall and one in the spring. This particular presentation of Puccini’s works has been in progress for almost a year, with several members continuing to practice on their own over the summer.
“We really have been putting a lot of work into this over the last year; there’s so much behind-the-scenes work that goes into it,” Marsh said.
She added that the organization is trying to get its name out there and create more awareness.
“Nobody knows that we have a good opera program here, but we’re working on that,” Marsh said.
A total of 15 students will be singing in the opera, while members of the SEK Orchestra accompany the voices, serving as a soundtrack during the show.
“We try to make it as authentic as possible, like a real opera,” Marsh said. “There will be a live orchestra playing and the actors will be dressed in costume for the show.”
Marsh says putting on performances such as these requires a group effort.
“The PSU Opera couldn’t do it without the help of people like opera professor Patrick Howle, who runs the program, and Dr. Raul Munguia, who is the orchestra maestro,” she said.
In addition to these productions, the group is known to sing the National Anthem at basketball games, and a number of members, past and present, sing professionally in the off-season with the Tulsa Opera Company.
During her four years participating in such performances, Marsh says there always is between 50 and 100 people in attendance, but this year she has higher hopes.
“We’ve never really had a great turn out; I’d love to see more people in the audience this year,” she said. “This is probably one of the best shows I’ve been able to be a part of while at this university. I’m really excited to see where it goes and hope to see the PSU Opera get the recognition it deserves.”

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