Past Opera Seasons - Shorter University

2022-2023 Season

The Old Maid and the Thief by Gian Carlo Menotti

November 17-19, 2022, Tiscornia Theater

2021-2022 Season

Suor Angelica by Puccini

Febuary 17-19, 2022, Brookes Chapel

2020-2021 Season

Cosí fan tutte by Mozart

Spring 2021, Brookes Chapel

2019-2020 Season

“Mozart Meets Gershwin”

Fall 2019

2018-2019 Season

 A Night of Comic Opera”: The Telephone by Gian Carlo Menotti and The True Story of Cinderella by Warren Martin

Fall 2018

2017-2018 Season

The OId Maid and the Thief by Gian Carlo Menotti

Fall 2017

2016-2017 Season

“Mostly Mozart”

Oct. 14-15 nightly, 7:30 p.m., Callaway Theatre

Patience by Gilbert & Sullivan

Friday & Saturday, March 31 & April 1,
7:30 p.m., Callaway Theatre

2016-2017 Season

 *Shorter Opera presents “Mostly Mozart”

Oct. 14-15 nightly, 7:30 p.m., Callaway Theatre

*Shorter Opera Spring Production

Friday & Saturday, March 31 & April 1,
7:30 p.m., Callaway Theatre

2015-2016

Xerxes by George Frederic Handel

Oct. 16-18, 2015
Callaway Theatre—Tickets Required

Friday & Saturday at 7:30 pm; Sunday at 2:00 pm

Shorter Opera Theatre is proud to present Xerxes (1738) by George Frederic Handel.  The opera is a love story with many plot twists.  Xerxes, the king of Persia, is in love with Romilda, but she is in love with Arsemene, Xerxes’ brother, and this is just the beginning of the romantic woes!  This tale of love, jealousy, and revenge is enhanced by the comic servant, Elviro, who keeps the plot laced with irony and humor.  Xerxes was composed later in Handel’s life and possesses some of his most mature vocal writing, including the exquisite “Ombra mai fu,” famously known simply as “Largo.”  Xerxes will be performed in Italian with projected English supertitles.

Show Boat  by Kern and Hammerstein

February 26-27, 2016
Rome City Auditorium—Tickets Required
7:30 pm

Shorter University’s Theatre Department in conjunction with Shorter Opera Theatre is proud to present the musical Show Boat. This celebrated and groundbreaking musical follows the inhabitants of a Mississippi show boat from the 1880’s to the 1920’s.  A perennial favorite in its genre, Show Boat hearkens to a colorful, nostalgic and sometimes painful chapter from America’s past.  Filled with humor, tenderness, and high drama, it still bewitches the eye, ear and heart to this day.  Jerome Kern’s lushly beautiful score and Oscar Hammerstein’s innovative, character-driven book and lyrics combine to create an epic tale of undying love and perseverance. With timeless songs like “Old Man River,” “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine,”  “Make Believe,” and “Bill”,  Show Boat demonstrates how human sufferings and triumphs fade away as time, embodied by the ever flowing Mississippi, “just keeps rolling along.”

2014-2015

Opera Scenes

Oct. 17-19, 2014
Callaway Theatre—Tickets Required
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM & Sunday at 2:00 PM

Shorter Opera Theatre will be presenting a fully produced collection of scenes from various operas, operettas, and musicals. This event will showcase some of the finest scenes from the stage, from the serious to the comical and everything in between.  Included will be scenes from  Le Nozze di Figaro, Carmen, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Pirates of Penzance, and others!  Scenes in foreign languages will be enhanced by the use of supertitles.  

Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck

March 19-22, 2015
Callaway Theatre—Tickets Required
Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 PM & Sunday at 2:00 PM

The beloved children’s fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers was turned into an opera by the 19th century composer, Engelbert Humperdinck.  The opera stays very close to the original tale, in which Hansel and Gretel get lost in the woods as they look for strawberries.  While in the forest, the children encounter many magical things, including a Sandman, a Dew Fairy, live gingerbread men, and a witch that likes to eat small children.  In the end, the children outwit the witch and all rejoice that Heaven punishes evil deeds and sends help to those in need.  Hansel and Gretel will be performed with chamber orchestra, sung in English, and is appropriate for children of all ages.

2013-2014

Fall Opera: Opera Scenes

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 11-12, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday Matinee, Oct. 13, 2 p.m.
Callaway Theatre–Tickets required

Shorter Opera Theatre will present a fully produced collection of scenes from various operas, operettas, and musicals. This event will showcase some of the finest scenes from the stage, from the serious to the comical and everything in between.

Spring Opera Double Bill:
Bastien und Bastienne 
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Riders to the Sea by Ralph Vaughan Williams

March 21-23, 2014,  Callaway Theatre
Friday-Saturday    7:30 pm
Sunday Matinee    3:00 pm
Tickets required

Shorter Opera Theatre will be presenting a double bill of Bastien und Bastienne (1768) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Riders to the Sea (1932) by Ralph Vaughan Williams. These two operas both depict rural life, but in very different ways.  The plot of Bastien und Bastienne centers on a shepherd and a shepherdess. Bastienne believes that her dear Bastien has forsaken her for another, more beautiful girl.  In this pastoral comedy, Bastienne employs the help of Colas, the village fortuneteller, to help her win back the heart of Bastien. On the other hand, Riders to the Sea depicts the hardships of living on the Irish coast. Maurya has already lost her father-in-law, husband, and all but two sons to the sea. This beautiful opera focuses on Maurya and her two daughters as they struggle with the hard realities of a life reliant on the sea.  Both of these operas will be sung in English and performed with full orchestra.

2012-2013

*Winter Opera: Opera and Musical Theatre Scenes
Callaway Theatre—Tickets Required
January 11-12, 2013, 7:30 PM

Shorter Opera Theatre will be presenting a fully produced collection of scenes from various operas, operettas, and musicals. This event will showcase some of the finest scenes from the stage, from the serious to the comical and everything in between. Scenes in foreign languages will be enhanced by the use of supertitles.

*Spring Production: The Secret Garden

Rome City Auditorium—Tickets required
March 1-2, 2013, 7:30 PM
Shorter Opera Theatre and Shorter Theatre Department are joining forces to bring you The Secret Garden, with music by Lucy Simon, and lyrics and book by Marsha Norman.  The Secret Garden was nominated for a Tony award for Best Musical when it premiered on Broadway in 1991.  A hidden garden is discovered by a young girl named Mary Lennox. Mary has come from India, orphaned, spoiled, sickly, and determined that she will not like living with her uncle, Archibald Craven, who is grieving the loss of his wife. Upon discovering the garden, all experience a great transformation.  This beautiful story of love and hope is ideal for children and adults, and will be performed with full orchestra.

2011-2012

* Opera: Die Zauberflöte by W.A. Mozart
October 14-15, 7:30 p.m.,
Rome City Auditorium—Tickets Required

Shorter University Opera Theatre presents one of Mozart’s most famous operas, The Magic Flute (1791). The fantastical story of a prince seeking his true love with the help of his new bird-hunter friend pits the basic philosophy of good versus evil in a way that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. A fairy-tale rich with music ranging from the stratospheric high notes of the Queen of the Night to the solemn, reverent hymns of the Priests, The Magic Flute takes us on a journey for love and knowledge. This production will be sung in German with English dialogue, and will be performed with full orchestra.

*Faculty Opera
January 8-9,
Callaway Theatre

Sunday, 2 p.m.; Monday, 7:30 p.m.

Sopranos Deborah Popham and Rebecca Salter and Matthew Hoch, baritone, and Ben Harris, piano, present a double-bill of The Telephone by Gian Carlo Menotti and La voix humaine by Francis Poulenc. The Telephone comically tells the story of a young man who wants to propose to his girlfriend, but keeps getting interrupted by her friends calling on the telephone. La voix humaine recounts the story of a young woman continuously being interrupted during a telephone call from her boyfriend of five years, who is leaving her for another woman.

*Spring Opera: Opera Scenes
Callaway Theatre—Tickets Required
Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 PM
Sunday, 2:00 PM

Shorter Opera Theatre will be presenting a fully produced collection of scenes from various operas.  This event will showcase some of the finest scenes from operatic literature, from the serious to the comical and everything in between. Scenes in foreign languages will be enhanced by the use of supertitles.

2010-2011

Fall Opera: La canterina by Joseph Haydn and La Divina by Thomas Pasatieri
October 21-24, 2010
Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m. & Sunday, 2:00 p.m.
Callaway Theatre

Tickets Required – Contact the Shorter University Box Office at 706-233-7288.

Shorter University Opera Theatre presents two delightful one-act operas composed 200 years apart from one another. La canterina (1766) is a jovial farce concerning the demure young maiden, Gasparina, and her singing teacher, Don Pelagio. This charming opera buffa will be performed in Italian. In La Divina (1966), a past-her-prime operatic star takes her final bow. This hilarious satire of the “diva” persona will be performed in English.

Winter Opera – The Ballad of Baby Doe
by Douglas Moore
Friday-Saturday, January 21-22, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
Desoto Theatre

Tickets Required – Contact the Shorter University Box Office at 706-233-7288.

Set in Leadville, Colorado, Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe (1956) retells the true story of Elizabeth “Baby Doe” Tabor and her marriage to a rich silver entrepreneur. Set over the course of several decades, the opera reveals tableaus from Baby Doe’s life: her greatest joys and deepest sorrows. Comprised of a beautiful score and recognizable arias, this American opera is a landmark work in standard repertory. Performed with full orchestra, this opera will combine the talents of Shorter University faculty and students.

2008-2009

The Music of Menotti:
The Old Maid and the Thief and The Medium
October 23-25, 2008, 7:30 pm
October 26, 2008, 2:00 pm
Callaway Theatre
Directed by Linda Lister

These two one-act operas by Gian-Carlo Menotti highlight his gift for soaring melody and intense drama.  In The Old Maid and the Thief, two busy-body society ladies find some excitement in their lives when a handsome wanderer passes through town.  In the famous aria “Steal Me, Sweet Thief,” their house maid Laetitia hopes that the romantic stranger will save her from a similar life of spinsterhood.  In The Medium we meet Madame Flora, a faux clairvoyant whose world turns upside down when she starts really hearing the voices of ghosts.

Massenet’s Cinderella
English translation by Dwight Coleman
January 15-17, 2009, 7:30 pm
January 18, 2009 2:00 pm
Callaway Theatre
Directed by Linda Lister

See the beloved fairy tale come to life in Jules Massenet’s operatic rendering.  Based on Charles Perrault’s version of the classic story, the opera is filled with the charming sweetness of dancing fairies, the evil humor of conniving step-sisters, and the magic of a dream-like ball and happy ending.  Come see Cinderella find her Prince Charming as depicted in Massenet’s lush and romantic score.

Operas being considered for the 2009-10 season include Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and Lehar’s The Merry Widow.

2007-2008

From Carthage to Rome:
Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Robert Ward’s Roman Fever

Oct. 25-27, 7:30 pm
Oct. 28, 3:00 pm
Callaway Theatre
Directed by Linda Lister
Music Direction: Elizabeth Blood
Chorus Master: Matthew Hoch

Shorter Opera Theatre explores early music in Purcell’s Baroque classic.  Based on Virgil’s Aeneid, the opera features sailors, spirits, and sorcery but stars the ill-fated love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, and Aeneas, future founder of the Roman Empire.  Contemporary composer Robert Ward brings Edith Wharton’s short story to life in his operatic realization of Roman Fever.  Two American widows vacationing in Rome, Italy realize they have quite a lot in common in this opera’s surprise ending.  In one evening, enjoy a taste of both 17th century and 20th century opera all sung in English.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers
Jan. 11-12, 7:30 pm
Rome City Auditorium
Directed by Linda Lister
Music Direction: Elizabeth Blood

The twelfth collaboration by Gilbert and Sullivan, this charming operetta delights in satirizing British snobbery while reveling in its Italian setting of Venice.  Two gondoliers and their brides mix with Spanish nobility, singing Sullivan’s lilting barcarolles and dancing cachuchas in Gilbert’s typical topsy-turvy fashion.  Come see the first Shorter Opera Theatre production at the Rome City Auditorium in this production sponsored by Dr. Sam Baltzer and Rome’s Own Music Ensembles. The Gondoliers will be performed with orchestral accompaniment.

Operas being considered for the 2008-9 season include Menotti’s The Medium and The Old Maid and the Thief and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (in German).

2006-2007

Celebrating 250 Years of Mozart
October 25-28, 7:30 p.m.
Brookes Chapel
Bastien and Bastienne
The Impresario

An Evening of Puccini*
January 18-20, 7:30 p.m.
January 2, 3 p.m.
Callaway Theatre

Suor Angelica – by Giacomo Pucinni (sung in Italian with English supertitles)
In this haunting opera set in 17th century Italy, a young girl named Angelica is banished to a convent for disgracing her family.

Gianni Schicchi – by Giacomo Pucinni (sung in Italian with English supertitles)
Set in Florence, Pucinni’s comic masterpiece features the beloved aria “O mio babbino caro.” In a clever and complicated plot, the wily Gianni Schicchi outsmarts a handful of greedy relatives to receive the inheritance of the recently departed Buoso.

2005-2006

Your True Calling: Composing in the Shadow of Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Mahler (world premiere): music by Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and Alma Mahler; libretto by Linda Lister

Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld

2004-2005

Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites

2003-2004

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Grand Night for Singing
Linda Lister’s Tryst and Thereafter, Love Theories (world premiere), and How Clear She Shines!

2002-2003

Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus

2001-2002

Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella