There is a wide range of operas that may never see their way to a full production at NEC, but that can be sampled in the intimate, showcase setting of an opera scenes evening. These scenes display the work that goes on daily under Artistic Director of Opera Studies Stephen Lord and his faculty as they prepare student singers for performing careers through NEC's comprehensive training program.
This afternoon, Joshua Major, Chair of Opera Studies, stages scenes from two verismo classics, Puccini's Suor Angelica and Mascagni's L'Amico Fritz, with students in NEC's graduate opera program. With few alterations, these one act operas will be presented almost in their entirety on the stage in Brown Hall.
Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica) is the second in Puccini's Triptych, and is rumored to have been his favorite of the three. Intensely emotional, the one act opera tells the story of Sister Angelica, a nun rumored to have been sent to the convent as punishment, by her noble family. During a surprise visit to the Convent by the Princess, Sister Angelica's aunt, we learn with Angelica, that her illegitimate son, born seven years ago has died. Devastated by the news, and spurred by a heavenly vision, Sister Angelica makes a tragic decision and is met with a miracle of mercy.
Mascagni's L'Amico Fritz is the story of wealthy landowner Fritz, an avowed bachelor, and Suzel, the woman who leads him to breaks his promise of solitude. With its pastoral setting and will they-won't they plot, L'Amico Fritz offers a lovely counterpoint to the intensity of the Puccini with which it shares the bill.
This program will be repeated on Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. in Brown Hall.