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The UTC Music Dept. is proud to present the UTC Opera Theater in “A Fright at the Opera”. Just in time for the Halloween season, UTC Opera Theatre presents a line-up of opera scenes which highlight the paranormal and supernatural. The performances will be on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 21-23, at 7:30 PM in the UTC Fine Arts Center Roland Hayes Hall, 725 Vine St., Chattanooga. Tickets are $7.00 for general admission and $5.00 for Senior Citizens. Tickets may be obtained by calling the UTC Fine Arts Center Box Office at 423-425-4269, Monday through Friday, 10:00 – 4:00, or 30 minutes prior to the event at the door.
The program for the evening includes scenes from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Beeson’s Lizzie Borden, Menotti’s The Medium, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Verdi’s Macbeth, and an aria from Corigliano’s The Ghost of Versailles.
Mozart’s Don Giovanni is represented by Act II, The Graveyard scene where Don Giovanni. Giovanni has a worldwide reputation for being an obsessive womanizer and feels that nothing can stand in his way of pursuing women. At the beginning of this opera, the Commendatore, father to one of the Don’s more recent conquests, opposes Giovanni and meets his unfortunate demise. But later on, when the Don and his servant Leporello sneak into an old graveyard to escape his enemies, they find the Commendatore, stone cold but still moving! We also will see the Act II Finale about which can be said only this: “Word to the wise: never invite a talking statue to dinner. He just might take you up on it.”
Contemporary composer Jack Beeson’s Lizzie Borden (Act III, Scene 2) is based on a horrific true story: “Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother forty whacks. And when she saw that she was done, she gave her father forty-one.” This opera takes place on that fateful day in 1890 in Fall River, Massachusetts, when the house of Andrew and Abby Borden was the scene of a brutal and grotesque murder. Andrew and Abby were found hacked to death, and Lizzie, who was Andrew’s older daughter from a previous marriage, was suspected of committing the foul deed. Because of the lack of evidence, she was acquitted of the crime, but she spent the rest of her life fighting rumors and suspicion. This opera explores what may have happened that day and the psychological torture that could have driven Lizzie to commit murder.
In Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium, Act I, Madame Flora (Baba) is a phony fortune teller whose life is riddled with mistakes and mishaps. She has taken up alcohol and broods about her past, cursing the ones who have brought her to this loathsome state. As she mourns, the time comes for an appointment with her next clients, Mr. and Mrs. Gobineau. Madame Flora has preyed on this couple’s money for years, making them believe that she can channel the spirit of their dead child Mickey. Little do they know that Flora’s daughter Monica is providing the giggles to fool them. However, tonight’s séance brings more unseen visitors, and Madame Flora has a spiritual experience that completely real and quite frightening.