First came a trip last week to Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Now the student instrumentalists and singers of the Fresno Opera and Orchestra Summer Academy are presenting fully staged opera.
There are two performances at the Fresno State Concert Hall of the double-billed "Cavalleria rusticana" and "Pagliacci": 8 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Sunday. The academy is a collaboration between the Fresno Youth Orchestras and the Fresno State College of Arts and Humanities.
Two of the performers, Christina Swanson and Tomer Eres, both students at the University of Michigan, signed up as special guest bloggers for fresnobeehive.com. They filed a report from last week's trip to Los Angeles, and they shared another about their thoughts on the upcoming opera performances. An excerpt from their latest:
"Since our return from LA and our great Disney Hall debut, we've been working in conjunction with the Orchestra, Singers, and Teachers to bring together a dramatic, musical, and passionate set of operas. A unique aspect of this learning experience is the study of the verismo style of opera. This style is widely known in the world of classical music for straying away from common themes using royalty, gods, and mythic beings as the protagonists and antagonists. Verismo, unlike other styles, does not strive to make a clear protagonist to antagonist relationship, and focuses on real people and real life.
… "Our typical day has been mostly the same for the past week. All of us are up and ready to sing or play at 9 am. In our morning rehearsals, singers review their music, text, staging, and more, while the orchestra spends their time reviewing the score and refining their performance. Details, details, details! We've learned the importance of repetition through a short phrase our teachers like to say 'Ancora, ancora, ancora!' — again, again, again!"
"Cavalleria rusticana" and "Pagliacci," 8 p.m. Friday, June 28, today, 2 p.m. Sunday, June 30, Fresno State Concert Hall. youthorchestrasfresno.org, (559) 275-6694. $35, $15 students.