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Master classes highlight opera season

Season also features Northwestern Opera Theater productions

Isabel Leonard
Isabel Leonard to lead Tichio Vocal Master Class on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
  • Opera season includes works by John Musto, Francis Poulenc
  • Fall opera production focuses on lives of characters in Edward Hopper paintings
  • Master classes by Isabel Leonard, Matthew Polenzani, Jake Heggie

EVANSTON - Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music announces its 2016-2017 opera season, featuring Northwestern University Opera Theater performances and the return of the Robert M. and Maya L. Tichio Vocal Master Class Series.

The events will take place in the Shirley Welsh Ryan Opera Theater and Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, located in the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, 70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, and Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston.

For more information, call the Bienen School of Music Concert Management Office at 847-491-5441 or visit the Concerts at Bienen website. Order tickets online, or call the Bienen School Ticket Office at 847-467-4000.

The Bienen School is a member of the Northwestern Arts Circle. Visit the Northwestern Arts Circle website for more arts events at Northwestern.

Concert schedule

  • Isabel Leonard
    Tuesday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m.
    Galvin Recital Hall, 70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

    The Robert M. and Maya L. Tichio Vocal Master Class Series begins with award-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard. In repertoire ranging from Vivaldi to Mozart to Thomas Adès, Leonard has graced the stages of the Paris Opera, Salzburg Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera. This season, she appears as Rosina in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” at the Vienna State Opera and as Charlotte in “Werther” at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and at the Metropolitan Opera, where she will also be seen as Zerlina in “Don Giovanni.” Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for students with valid ID.

  • “Later the Same Evening”
    Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 17-19, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 20, 3 p.m.
    Shirley Welsh Ryan Opera Theater, 70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

    Northwestern University Opera Theater presents “Later the Same Evening,” directed by Michael M. Ehrman and featuring the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alexandra Dee. Composed by John Musto, with libretto by Mark Campbell (librettist for “The Shining,” a sell-out at Minnesota Opera), this one-act opera is set in 1932 in New York City, where five Edward Hopper paintings come to life. A young wife and husband face an encroaching sense of estrangement in their marriage; a widow nervously awaits her date; and a young woman prepares to tell her boyfriend she is leaving New York after the failure of her dancing career. The lives of these women soon intersect with those of other characters as they find themselves together in the audience of a Broadway musical. Tickets are $18 for the general public and $8 for students with valid ID.

  • Matthew Polenzani
    Wednesday, Jan. 18, 7 p.m.
    Galvin Recital Hall, 70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

    The Robert M. and Maya L. Tichio Vocal Master Class Series continues with Richard Tucker Award-winning tenor Matthew Polenzani. During the 2015-16 season, he appeared at the Paris Opera in “Don Giovanni,” at the Bavarian and Vienna State Operas in “Werther” and at the Metropolitan Opera in “Les pêcheurs de perles” and “Roberto Devereux.” Season highlights for 2016-17 include a return to the Bavarian State Opera for “Die Zauberflöte,” “La Favorita” and “La Bohème” and to the Metropolitan Opera for “Don Giovanni,” “Idomeneo” and “Der Rosenkavalier.” Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for students with valid ID.

  • “Dialogues of the Carmelites”
    Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 23-25, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 26, 3 p.m.
    Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston

    Northwestern University Opera Theater presents “Dialogues of the Carmelites,” directed by Michael M. Ehrman. Based on the true story of the martyrs of Compiègne and a screenplay by Georges Bernanos, Francis Poulenc’s moving opera is set amid the chaos of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. The timid Blanche de la Force withdraws from the world and enters a Carmelite convent where she must confront her fears in the ultimate test of faith. Poulenc’s music explores a range of styles from homage to 1940s film scores to the haunting medieval sound of liturgical chant. Performed in English. Tickets are $18 for the general public and $8 for students with valid ID.

  • Jake Heggie
    Thursday, April 20, 7 p.m.
    Galvin Recital Hall, 70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

    The 2016-17 Robert M. and Maya L. Tichio Vocal Master Class Series concludes with composer and Guggenheim Fellow Jake Heggie. This special master class features Heggie at the piano, accompanying Bienen School students in performances of his songs. His operas -- “Dead Man Walking,” “Moby-Dick,” “Great Scott,” “Three Decembers,” “To Hell and Back,” “Out of Darkness,” “At the Statue of Venus” and “The Radio Hour: A Choral Opera” -- have been produced on five continents. His newest opera -- “It’s A Wonderful Life,” based on the classic Frank Capra movie and written with librettist Gene Scheer -- is slated for a December 2016 premiere at Houston Grand Opera. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for students with valid ID.

  • Northwestern University Opera Theater will present its spring opera Thursday-Saturday, May 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 21 at 3 p.m. in Cahn Auditorium. More details will be announced through the Concerts at Bienen website.

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