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Hillman Opera to host guest lecturer Michael Ching
Monday, October 20, 2014

Acclaimed opera composer and administrator Michael Ching is slated to present a guest lecture hosted by the Hillman Opera on Friday, Oct. 24, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Diers Recital Hall.

Mr. Ching studied composition with Carlisle Floyd, the renowned American composer of, “Susannah,” the upcoming Hillman Opera. The opera’s story is an age old morality tale that uses stunning Appalachian folk music themes framed in great operatic drama. Mr. Floyd attended the opening night performance of “Susannah,” when it was first performed at Fredonia as the 1972 Hillman Opera.

“Susannah,” will be presented on Friday, Nov. 7, and Saturday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m., all in Marvel Theatre.

Regarded as one of America’s bright stars in the world of operatic production, Ching will lecture on Floyd, who currently resides in Florida, and on “Susannah.” He will present thoughts about the dramatic intentions of the work, and will share his personal and relevant connection to the opera, as well as the knowledge he has gained serving as an administrator for both the Virginia Opera and the Memphis Opera companies. As Ching is known to be a vibrant educator and speaker, Julie Newell, the chair of the Fredonia opera program, notes, “this will not be a dull, dry lecture!” Ching is also slated to conduct Buffalo's Nickel City Opera's production of "The Marriage of Figaro" in June 2015.

Student cast members of the upcoming production of “Susannah” will perform as part of the lecture. Soprano Danielle Beckvermit will sing as the title character of Susannah, baritone Colin Mann will sing the role of Blitch and tenor Dylan Greene, the role of Sam.

The annual Hillman Opera, its 59th year, provides one of only a few full opera opportunities for undergraduate singers in the country, and the annual musical production is a highlight of each academic year.

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