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KU Opera presents "The Sorrows of Young Werther"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

KU Opera will present the production "The Sorrows of Young Werther" in Swarthout Recital Hall on January 16, 19, 22 and 24. All performances are at 7:30pm, except for a 2:30pm performance on January 24.

Jules Massenet's opera "The Sorrows of Young Werther" tells the sad tale of rejection and isolation that consumes the sensitive artist Werther, who is madly in love with Charlotte, but cannot have her as she is betrothed to another. The opera is based on the German novel of the same name, penned by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the late 1700's.

"Massenet's 'Werther' is one of those operas that is not performed terribly frequently and we relished to opportunity to expose it to people who may not be familiar with this version of Goethe's novel," said Kathleen Belcher, Director of KU Opera. "We have chosen to get to the heart of 'Werther' and try to pare it down to its dramatic core. I loved the idea of really focusing on Charlotte and Werther, without the elements of comic relief that Massenet included in his opera." Belcher added, "I was also interested in working with singers who are about the same age as Charlotte, Werther , and Charlotte's husband, Albert; these characters are exploring big philosophical ideas and everyday burdens that are not unlike what students today experience. "

Tickets are $10/general public and $5/students and senior citizens and can be purchased by calling 785-864-3436.

The cast is as follows:

Werther ....Adam Zuniga
The Bailiff...James Smith
Charlotte....Catherine Elaine Ratliff
Albert....Joe Hager
Sophie...Callie Schlegel

KU Opera Director....Kathleen Smith Belcher
KU Opera Music Director....Mark Ferrell
Orchestrator....Michalis Koutsoupides
Scenic Designer....Gene Friedman
Costume Designer....Kelly Kaspar
Lighting Desginer....Seif Cristobal
Wigs....Jan Delovage
Technical Director....Phillip Schroeder



Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
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