Friday, July 30, 2010

Opera Returns Aug 12 to Soo Theatre with Gianni Schicchi

Opera returns to the Soo Theatre for its fifth season with another comedy in English. Professional singers take the stage this August to join the ranks of Soo Opera Theatre’s Artistic Director Karen Hughes and her local cast in this modern satire of a greedy Italian family.

Gianni Schicchi is a one-act comedy by Giacomo Puccini. Director Timothy Murphy of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario returns to the Soo Theatre for a second season, bringing his flair for comedic timing to the production. Baritone Thomas Gunther from Cincinnati, Ohio and tenor Scott Wichael from Kansas City, Missouri will both be making their Soo Theatre debut.

Karen Hughes and Patty Gartshore of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario have been preparing the singers and Dr. John Wilkinson is conducting the orchestra. Local singers (Sam Burdick, Bob Cooper, Maureen Delaney-Lehman, Matt Gilbertson, Michael Irvine, Lola Kennedy, Elizabeth Kinghorn, Meghan Lee, Mik Patton, Tom Peer, Jesse Strieter, Matt Zook) and orchestra members from the Eastern Upper Peninsula and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario have been busy in rehearsal this month.

Set in present day New York, Buoso Donati has quietly passed away in bed. His relatives are mourning quite dramatically over his death; that is, until they find out they aren’t in the will. All the while Rinuccio (Scott Wichael) is begging his family to let him marry Gianni Schicchi’s (Thomas Gunther) daughter, Lauretta (Karen Hughes). Rinuccio’s family will not allow him to marry Lauretta since she does not have a trust fund. Rinuccio calls Schicchi without the family’s knowledge. Rinuccio explains to them that Schicchi will be able to help them find a way to get themselves included in the will. Zita (Maureen Delaney-Lehman) angrily explains the situation to Schicchi, who is just as angry at the negative reception he and his daughter have received. Lauretta sings “O Mio Babbino Caro,” begging her father to let her marry Rinuccio. Schicchi devises a plan to get the family into the will. As Schicchi assumes the role of the deceased Buoso Donati, so ensues this hilarious one-act comedy.

Mark your calendar for Soo Opera Theatre’s Gianni Schicchi August 12th and 13th at 7:30 pm and August 15th at 2:00 pm. Ticket prices are $15.00 for general admission and $10.00 for students. Group rates are available by calling the theatre at (906) 632-1930. Soo Theatre Project is located 534 Ashmun Street in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Come, join, and support your local community at Soo Theatre Project.

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