‘Threepenny’ still holds value

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 - 10:46am

Maybe you’ve snickered while watching an opera — the plaintive arias, the drawn-out deaths and the intricacy of the singing. The University of North Texas Opera Theatre’s current production avoids much of the pomp.

Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera is an opera for the Everyman, said conductor and musical director Stephen Dubberly.

“The music is incredibly fresh and timeless, and in a style that is very easy for contemporary audiences to understand,” Dubberly said. “The whole point of The Threepenny Opera is to poke fun at some of the conventions of opera as stuffy. This is opera for the working class...

UNT orchestras open spring season Feb. 4

Fri, Jan 20, 2012

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The University of North Texas Concert Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra will open the spring season with a joint concert — including a preview performance of the Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming concert at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in San Antonio. The Feb. 4 program includes conductor Clay Couturiaux leading the Concert Orchestra in Debussy’s Nocturnes, inspired by impressionist paintings. The Concert Orchestra will be joined by the sopranos and altos of the UNT Chamber Choir for the final movement. The...

Dallas Opera Commissions Heggie and McNally

Tue, Jan 17, 2012

Nothing breeds success like success. Following the praise for Jake Heggie's opera Moby-Dick, the Dallas Opera has commissioned him to write another one for them to premiere in 2015. The new opera, Great Scott, will have a libretto by Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, a Texas native.  "We began talking with Jake about the next possible collaboration during the tremendously successful opening of Moby-Dick," says Dallas Opera Artistic Director Jonathan Pell.   Heggie's libretto partner for Moby-Dick was Gene Scheer, but Heggie has worked with McNally before, on Dead Man Walking and Three Decembers. The latter...

The poet in limbo

Fri, Nov 11, 2011

Just as Salvador Dali bends the lines of objects in his paintings, playwright Nilo Cruz bends reality in a play about a Dali admirer, Spanish poet Frederico Garcia Lorca. Cruz, the first Latino to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (Anna in the Tropics, 2003), uses flavors of Cuban culture to tell a surreal story about poet and dramatist Lorca, who enters a kind of purgatory after his assassination at the hands of fascists during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The University of North Texas Department of Dance and Theatre stages the drama under the direction of faculty member...

Drink, Drink and Be Scary

Sun, Oct 2, 2011

College theater students frequently play characters older than they are because, let's face it, not every play is This Is Our Youth. Depending on the role and performance style, playing a part that's 20, 30 or even 50 years older presents its challenges. With certain characters, it's not just about slapping on some aging makeup and a touch of gray. Maturity and experience go a long way.  Think of it in terms of a thirtysomething actor playing a character that's 30 to 40 years older in a community theater production, let's say. For Scrooge? Maybe. It has happened with character actors, and been sufficient. King Lear? Let's...