The College of Arts and Architecture

Penn State Opera Theatre FALL 2018 Auditions

Announcing Penn State Opera Theatre’s 2018-2019 Season

Auditions for all roles will take place on Tuesday August 28 between 1:35-4:25 in Room 122, MB 2.  A sign-up sheet will be posted on the Voice Area bulletin board on Monday August 20.  Students are required to perform one piece in English and one piece in Italian. 

A pianist will be provided.

Fall 2018

POP UP OPERA

A bouquet of one-acts presented in English in a variety of venues!

Bastien and Bastienne (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Plot

Bastienne (soprano) thinks she has been abandoned by Bastien (tenor). She is convinced the young shepherd has been unfaithful; despite being very much in love with her, he is not immune to the charms of a lady. Desperate and tormented, the young shepherdess seeks help from the wise and benevolent old soothsayer Colas (bass). He reassures her of Bastien’s feelings for her and suggests that she feign indifference. This stratagem succeeds beyond her hopes, and now it is Bastien who turns to the wise old man for advice. He persuades the fickle lover that only magic will bring back his love.  After one last quarrel between the lovers, the couple reconcile and sing Colas’s praises for their newfound happiness. 

Roles

Bastien (tenor)

Bastienne (soprano)

Colas (baritone/bass)

Le Mariage aux Lanterns (Jacques Offenbach)

Plot

A young farmer Guillot has affection for his orphan cousin Denise, who was entrusted to him by their uncle Mathurin. He hides his feelings by treating her roughly, driving the young girl to despair. Both write to their uncle: him for money, her for advice. Two gossiping widows, Catherine and Fanchette, poke fun at the doltishness of Guillot, but when he receives a letter from his uncle telling him about treasure that may be found under the great tree when the evening church bells peal the two women determine to win Guillot’s hand.  At the time of the angélus, Denise enters, reading a letter from her uncle which tells her that she will find a good husband underneath the great tree, where she falls asleep. As Guillot arrives with his spade and lantern, he hears her speak his name in her sleep, and understands that she is Mathurin’s promised treasure. By the light of the lanterns of villagers, who have also come to inspect the treasure, they agree to wed, much to the chagrin of the two widows.

Roles

Guillot (tenor)

Denise (soprano)

Fanchette (soprano)

Catherine (mezzo soprano)

Night Watchman (speaking)

The Telephone (Gian Carlo Menotti)

Plot

Ben wants to propose to his friend Lucy, but is frustrated by the constant interruption of her telephone. Since Ben has to catch a train for an important business meeting, he leaves Lucy’s apartment and, adopting the strategy “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” succeeds in proposing to Lucy over the telephone from a nearby phone booth.

Roles

Ben (baritone)

Lucy (soprano)

Spring 2019

SUOR ANGELICA (Giacomo Puccini)

Presented in Italian, semi-staged with Penn State Philharmonic

Plot

Sister Angelica, a Florentine noblewoman, has been compelled by her family to take the veil, following a youthful fault, and for seven years has in vain been waiting tidings from her family or friends. The abbess announces that Angelica's aunt, the Princess, has come to call on her and warns her to be full of submission and humility in her conversation with the old lady. The Princess coldly tells Angelica that she has come in order that she may sign a certain act of release which is made necessary by the coming wedding of the nun's younger sister. She adds that one course of action only is open to Angelica, and that course is lifelong expiation. Finally, in answer to Angelica's question, the Princess informs her that her child, “the baby whom she had seen and kissed only once,” had died two years previously. Thereupon Angelica, seized by a sudden frenzy, concocts a poison and seeks suicide. Seized by remorse at her act, she implores the Virgin not to let her die in mortal sin, and then a miracle takes place. The Mother of Comfort suddenly appears on the threshold of the little church, enveloped in celestial radiance; a blonde child walks in front of the Virgin, who, with a gesture of ineffable benevolence, gently pushes the the boy into the arms of his dying mother, while a choir of nuns and angels sings “Thou Art Saved.

Roles*

Sister Angelica (soprano)

The Princess (contralto)

The Abbess (mezzo soprano)

The Monitress (mezzo soprano)

The Mistress of the Novices (mezzo soprano)

Sister Genovieffa (soprano)

Sister Osmina (soprano)

Sister Dolcina (soprano)

The Nursing Sister (mezzo soprano)

Two Alms Sisters (sopranos)

A novice (soprano)

Two Lay Sisters (soprano/mezzo soprano)

*all roles are available EXCEPT for The Princess, which will be performed by Prof. Jennifer Trost


All graduate students and undergraduate performance majors are REQUIRED to audition for the productions and play as cast. If not cast in the productions, those students are then REQUIRED to take MUS 467. During both semesters next year, MUS 467 (Opera Workshop) will meet and culminate in staged scenes programs.