By Sarah Ramirez- Jacket Journal staff writer
Music fans have a lot to be excited about this spring. The Black Hills State University music department will be presenting its first full opera.
The opera, written in the Baroque period, is called “Dido and Aeneas” and is written by Henry Purcell. “Dido and Aeneas” is a three-act tragedy opera, and was first performed in 1689. It was originally written for a school for girls, so most of the parts are written for female voices. Most operas are usually written and performed in Italian and German, but this one was originally written and performed in English, which is rare. It is a 55-minute performance and will be performed March 19 and 20 in the Meier Recital Hall. Dr. Nancy Roberts, vocal professor at BHSU will be the staff supervisor, assistant director and also be performing in the production.
Senior theatre and vocal music major Tyler Raad, will be directing this production and also be starring in this opera playing the role of Aeneas. Raad is a senior from Spearfish who is double majoring in theatre and vocal music. Raad is designing and making both the set and the costume. He also hired the conductor and orchestra for this production. Raad has had the opportunity to direct a play and a musical but he said that opera was really foreign to him.
“Dr. Roberts is mentoring me on this project. Opera was really foreign to me and I wanted to learn more about it. I am glad she will be there to listen to any of the crazy ideas I may have,” said Raad.
It will involve about 20 singers and about 10 instrumentalists. Many of the music department staff will also be participating in producing this performance. Dr. Jonathan Nero will be the chorus master, Mr. Christopher Hahn will be directing the instrumental ensemble and Lori Miller will be playing the harpsichord.
“It’s a rare opportunity for the faculty to be so involved in a student ran production,” said Raad. He says, “It’s going to be a really great show.”