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Alumni and students in "The Consul" on March 17 with WNYCO
Wednesday, March 06, 2013

SUNY Fredonia alumni vocalists will join current students in a unique professional operatic production with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, March 17, at 4 p.m. in King Concert Hall at the college’s Rockefeller Arts Center.

 James Wright

The final concert in WYNCO’s 2012-2013 Classics Series Season is a staged concert production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s American opera, “The Consul,” winner of the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Music and the 1950 New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award for Best Musical.

“The Consul,” tells a spellbinding tale of a family trapped under the control of a dictatorial political regime. The opera has become a staple of American operatic literature, and has enjoyed recent fame with openings at the Metropolitan Opera, conducted by former Western New York Chamber Orchestra Music Director Joel Revzen.

The production is directed by SUNY Fredonia Distinguished Teaching Professor Julie Newell and features a cast of SUNY Fredonia alumni and current students. Starring as John Sorel is baritone James Wright, who received both Bachelor of Music in Education and Master of Music in Vocal Performance degrees from Fredonia and is an active professional opera singer including performances with Nickel City Opera. He is also an adjunct faculty member at SUNY Fredonia and Canisius College. Singing the role of Magda, one of the most significant soprano roles in the American operatic canon, is Joan Snyder, who is a December 2012 SUNY Fredonia graduate with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. She appeared as Lauretta in the fall Hillman Opera production of "Gianni Schicchi." Kyle Sackett, also a School of Music alumni artist, graduated in May 2012 with a degree in Music Education. Rounding out the cast are current Fredonia School of Music voice students Amanda Bottoms, who is playing the role of the Secretary; Leslie Ratner, Makoto Winkler, Amanda Conte, Allison Deady, Jenna Margiasso and Shawn Romero.

Tickets are $20 for adults and will be available at the door or by contacting the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center at (716) 673-3501. All SUNY students receive free admission with the presentation of their SUNY ID at the ticket office or at the door.WYNCO will also present, “The Consul,” in Orchard Park on Saturday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the Orchard Park Presbyterian Church as guests of the church’s Music and the Arts Series. Fredonia students Danielle Beckvermit, Cody Ray Caho, and Jillian Swanson will star in the Orchard Park presentation.

The Western New York Chamber Orchestra, a professional ensemble-in-residence at SUNY Fredonia, is comprised of Fredonia School of Music faculty musicians, as well as many SUNY Fredonia alumni, and represents the best musicians of our region. Soon to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary, WNYCO is supported by the Friends of Rockefeller Arts Center, the New York State Council on the Arts, the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County, and many generous community sponsors.

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