Alumni and students to perform in ‘The Consul’ March 17

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

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. He is an active professional opera singer and has appeared in major roles with Nickel City Opera in Buffalo. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Fredonia School of Music and at Canisius College. Singing the role of Magda Sorel, 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. Snyder appeared in the 2012 Hillman Opera, “Gianni Schicchi,” in the role of Lauretta. 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 plays 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 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 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.