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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Opera theater to perform piece similar to soap opera

    Opera theater to perform piece similar to soap opera

    The University of Arizona Opera Theater is set to perform the “”chick opera”” production of Pietro Mascagni’s “”L’Amico Fritz,”” said theater director Charles Roe, who considers the show to be the equivalent of a chick flick.

    Cast in the spring, “”L’Amico Fritz”” was chosen to be the theater’s fall production for many reasons.

    “”It just fits the voices that we have to sing,”” Roe said.

    Roe, who has sung for the New York City Opera Company and taught within the university framework for more than 40 years, was unsure how well the opera would sell to the Tucson community.

    “”The audiences in Arizona probably don’t go to operas they don’t know by title, and that don’t have a great reputation ahead of it,”” he said.

    Roe describes “”L’Amico Fritz”” as a soap opera with no real villain or violence, simply a piece that has “”beautiful, passionate music.””

    “”When they get to this love duet, I still get goosebumps,”” Roe said. “”At my age, it’s really nice to get goosebumps.””

    Opera singers carry many responsibilities, Roe said.

    “”You have to be a musician, and then you have to be a linguist, and then you have to be able to move well on stage, and then you have to be an actor so that we believe the emotions that you’re portraying to each other,”” he said.

    Roe describes his teachings at the UA as the “”training ground for the future”” and strives for his students to go further with opera than the university level.

    “”That is part of what my job is, as a director, to teach them the basic skills they are going to need to go out and sing with the Arizona opera and maybe beyond that,”” Roe said.

    Roe describes the opera as the “”ultimate theater”” adding, “”Where words leave off, music begins.””

    The orchestra, Roe said, serves as the feelings of the characters when they are not speaking.

    Roe encourages students to fuel their curiosity and attend at least one performance, if the opera wouldn’t be their first.

    “”Discover whether you like opera,”” he said. “”If you walk out of here and say, ‘OK, I’ve heard an opera and I don’t like it,’ that’s fine, but you may just say ‘Hey, I like that.’ “”

    “”L’Amico Fritz”” will be performed at the Crowder Hall in the School of Music today and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m.

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