January 24, 2020

Lyric Opera of the North production to showcase UW-Superior Music Department talent

Vicki Fingalson, (center) UW-Superior professor of voice and opera, plays the female lead as The Mother and Giulia Calland (right), plays Amahl in Lyric Opera of the North's production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. The opera will feature more than a dozen individuals with connections to UW-Superior. (Image courtesy of Lyric Opera of the North, Sek Design, Shuttersmack)

Vicki Fingalson, (center) UW-Superior professor of voice and opera, plays the female lead as The Mother and Giulia Calland (right), plays Amahl in Lyric Opera of the North's production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. The opera will feature more than a dozen individuals with connections to UW-Superior. (Image courtesy of Lyric Opera of the North, Sek Design, Shuttersmack)

More than a dozen individuals with UW-Superior ties involved in the heartwarming opera

When Lyric Opera of the North presents its productions of Amahl and the Night Visitors Friday, Jan. 24, and Sunday, Jan. 26, the University of Wisconsin-Superior will be well represented. The opera will feature more than a dozen individuals with connections to the university.

“The company really likes UWS alumni,” said Dr. Jeffrey Madison, UW-Superior senior lecture of voice and stage director for Amahl and the Night Visitors. “A lot of it has to do with the nature of our students. Our students are ambitious, hardworking and those are great qualities.”

Along with Madison, other current UW-Superior Music Department faculty include Dr. Vicki Fingalson Madison, professor of voice and opera, who plays the female lead as The Mother; and Dr. Erin Aldridge, professor of orchestra and volin, concert master. The orchestra includes faculty members Kevin Hoeschen, senior lecturer, viola; Betsy Husby, senior lecturer, cello; [NAME:ESALEMIN], senior lecturer, trumpet; and former faculty member Michael Roemhildt, senior lecturer, bassoon. The chorus will include alumni Rebecca Farmer, David Greenberg, Rachel Holte, Steve Johnson, Maria Puglisi, and Brianna Stolan. Additional graduates include Ben Ellison, chorus master, Beth Sobczak, rehearsal accompanist, and Kailyn Spencer, project coordinator.

“We have a really great group of artists – both student and faculty,” said Madison. “It’s a lot of fun. From a working standpoint, I know all the folks involved. One of the things which is great for me is having a relationship with these people.”

Written by Gian Carlo Menotti, Amahl and the Night Visitors, features memorable, light-hearted tunes with an uplifting message.

“It was the first opera written for production in television,” said Madison. “The first performance was a live broadcast from NBC studios on Christmas Eve in 1951.”

While opera is generally written to be performed in large spaces, this story was intended for the small screen and a close setting.

“It’s an intimate show,” said Madison. “I think it was wisely chosen to perform in the theatre at the Masonic Temple. The temple isn’t open to the public very often and it is the most beautiful theatre in the Twin Ports. It’s just gorgeous. It’s very intimate, and you get to see this piece in kind of the way it was intended.”

Appropriate for all ages, shows are Friday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 26 at 3 p.m. at the Masonic Temple located at 4 W 2nd Street in Duluth. General seating is $32, premium seating $42, children and students with valid student ID $12. Sung in English, the show is 50 minutes with no intermission.

Vicki Fingalson, (center) UW-Superior professor of voice and opera, plays the female lead as The Mother and Giulia Calland (right), plays Amahl in Lyric Opera of the North's production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. The opera will feature more than a dozen individuals with connections to UW-Superior. (Image courtesy of Lyric Opera of the North, Sek Design, Shuttersmack)

Vicki Fingalson, (center) UW-Superior professor of voice and opera, plays the female lead as The Mother and Giulia Calland (right), plays Amahl in Lyric Opera of the North's production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. The opera will feature more than a dozen individuals with connections to UW-Superior. (Image courtesy of Lyric Opera of the North, Sek Design, Shuttersmack)

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