Italian opera to bring romance to campus

The School of Music and Opera Studio will bring a little piece of Italy to Fort Worth this weekend with a performance of L’Ormindo, a 17th-century baroque comedy.

Ten students and one guest artist will perform in the opera, said associate professor Richard Estes, director of the studio and of L’Ormindo. Associate professor J. David Brock will conduct the baroque orchestra.

Italian composer Francesco Cavalli wrote L’Ormindo, which was originally produced in 1644 in Venice. It is a story of two North African princes, both in love with the same woman who is unhappily married to an older king. With schemes, disguises, unfaithfulness and fights, the opera was renowned in 18th century Europe and has been recreated countless times, Estes said.

What: L’Ormindo by Francesco Cavalli (Raymond Leppard version)
When: 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday
Where: Ed Landreth Auditorium
Tickets: Free with TCU ID

It will be sung in the original Italian with projected English super titles, Estes said.

Katie Haney, who is earning a master’s degree in music and voice performance, plays Mirinda, the maid to the queen in the opera. This will be her
sixth leading role at the university.

“It’s a real cultural experience that you can get at home,” Haney said.

Devin Drerup, a sophomore vocal performance major, said this is a unique opportunity for students to see a full-length opera for free. Drerup plays Erice, Princess Sicle’s nurse. This is Drerup’s first opera performance.

The cast has been preparing since the beginning of the fall semester, Drerup said. Aside from working with voice coaches and with Estes on staging, the performers prepared on their own time to invest in their characters, he said.

The cast has also spent time learning about the baroque-style opera. Speaking on pitches, stressing certain words and correcting verb agreement are things the cast is practicing to portray the Italian opera authentically, Drerup said.