The UTC Opera Workshop will present two one-act operas: Tomás Breton’s La verbena de la Paloma and Jonathan Bailey Holland’s Naomi in the Living Room on Friday, November 7 at 8 p.m., and again on Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $7.00 general admission. Senior citizens may purchase tickets for $5.00. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling (423) 425-4269. Both performances will be held in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall in the UTC Fine Arts Center, (corner of Palmetto and Vine Streets).
Tomás Breton’s La verbena de la Paloma has been described as “the greatest zarzuela ever”, zarzuela being a Spanish lyric-dramatic art form that alternates between spoken and sung scenes incorporating both operatic and popular song as well as dance. A verbena is a religious festival that spills over into the street with carnival-like revelry (think Mardi gras). La Paloma is a street in Madrid which hosts a statue of the Virgin which reputedly is associated with several miracles in the 18th century. Using the libretto of the great Spanish author Ricardo de la Vega, Breton offers us a slice of life on a hot, typical night during the festival complete with working-class characters he would have seen in his daily life.
Naomi in the Living Room is by contemporary composer Jonathan Bailey Holland. The one act chamber opera is based on a play by Christopher Durang. This is absurdism brought to the operatic stage. Naomi is a late middle-aged woman, slightly psychotic and given to tourettes-like outbursts. She glories in her own eccentricity. We see her interact with her son John and wife Johnna who have experienced personal tragedy which Naomi does not accept into her reality. John and Johnna are swept into Naomi’s circle of madness and reveal their own character flaws.
The UTC Opera Workshop is directed by UTC Assistant Professor Ronald Ulen who has earned Chattanooga recognition after appearing with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera as the father in last season’s Hansel and Gretel and as the baritone soloist for the recent Beethoven Ninth Symphony performance. Timothy Hinck served as the musical director for this production and will accompany the performances on piano with Hyung Lok Kim conducting.
Visit www.utc.edu/Opera for more information, or call the UTC Music Dept. Office, 423-425-4601.