Go back

APSU Opera Workshop to feature music students in 2 1-act operas

Three young women have wishes of living wealthy, becoming famous and having a lover. Does the fulfillment of such wishes make people happy?

That is the question to be answered in the comedy, A Game of Chance, one of two one-act operas to be performed at Austin Peay State University during the annual Opera Workshop on April 19-20. The second opera, a drama, will be Sister Angelica, by Giacomo Puccini, one of the greatest Italian opera composers.
Three young women have wishes of living wealthy, becoming famous and having a lover. Does the fulfillment of such wishes make people happy?

That is the question to be answered in the comedy, “A Game of Chance,” one of two one-act operas to be performed at Austin Peay State University during the annual Opera Workshop on April 19-20. The second opera, a drama, will be “Sister Angelica,” by Giacomo Puccini, one of the greatest Italian opera composers.

The operas will be performed at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 19 and 3:30 p.m., Sunday, April 20 in the Music/Mass Communication Building Concert Hall.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students. Admission for APSU students is free with APSU I.D. The operas are suitable for family entertainment.

Lisa Conklin-Bishop, director of the Opera Workshop, said the performances represent the work of the entire APSU Department of Music.

“The Opera Workshop is a culmination of everybody's hard work in the music department. That includes both the students and the faculty,” she said.
Also, the Opera Workshop production is “a treat for Clarksville,” Conklin-Bishop said.

“To go to an opera, you basically have to go to Nashville or elsewhere,” she said.

The first opera, “A Game of Chance,” written in 1956 by Seymour Barab, features an eternal messenger of fate who brings to each of three young women her dearest wish: One would like to be wealthy; one would like to be famous; and one would like to have a lover in her life.

Each discovers she has not asked for enough. The rich woman misses real friends; the famous author yearns for love; and the third young woman finds marriage a tedious chore.

“The moral is to be careful what you wish for,” Conklin-Bishop said. “We all want too much or too little.”

In “Sister Angelica,” the main character, Angelica, has lived in the peace of the convent for seven years. Her past life was different, one in which she had an illegitimate son whom she misses every day. What is more, she never has received any news from her family who originally took her to the convent to cover up the scandal.

Her aunt, a princess, eventually visits her. Angelica just wants to know how her son is; however, her aunt tells her that the boy died of fever. Angelica is devastated.

Later, Angelica, in a vision, hears her son calling for her to meet him in paradise. She makes herself a poison and drinks it but realizes that in committing suicide, she has damned herself. She begs the Virgin Mary for mercy, and, as she dies, she sees a miracle: The Virgin Mary appears, along with Angelica's son, who runs to embrace her.

“This opera has the most beautiful aria, ‘Senza mamma,' in which Angelica expresses her distress that her child died without knowing his mother,” Conklin-Bishop said.

For more information, contact the APSU Department of Music by telephone at (931) 221-7818. — Melony A. Jones