Red River Lyric Opera set to return to MSU Texas

Red River Lyric Opera set to return to MSU Texas

Red River Lyric Opera set to return to MSU Texas

For a few weeks in the summer, MSU Texas will become opera central for North Texas. Wait, opera?

Through a unique partnership with Midwestern State University, the Red River Lyric Opera (RRLO) will return for its fourth season as a national-level training program for young artists. From July 5-29, high school through doctoral level students from across the country will learn about opera production from nationally renowned voice teachers, conductors, musicians, and technical crew on the MSU campus. The three-week program will culminate with the production of three operas.

RRLO executive director Darla Diltz, a native Wichitan and an MSU alumna, said that along with providing artistic development to the workshop participants, RRLO's mission is to bring cultural enrichment to North Texas and Southern Oklahoma communities, and to bring national attention to MSU Texas.

"We could not do this without MSU's generous partnership with and contribution to our company, which enables us to carry out our mission," Diltz said. "The generosity extended by MSU is something for which we are extremely grateful. It has given the Red River Lyric Opera a wonderful home."

Applicants from across the country are screened before the most qualified are selected to participate in the intensive training program. While in the program, participants receive coaching, voice lessons, training in acting and stage movement, and, most importantly, performance experience. Among those participants are 13 MSU Texas music and theatre department students who were chosen to participate in the RRLO through scholarships.

The program also offers internships for pianists and stage positions such as directors, designers, and stage managers. These internships can help build repertoires and add to experience for resumes.

Other faculty members include voice teachers Stephen F. Austin, Professor of Voice at the University of North Texas; Chuck Chandler, Assistant Professor of Voice at Florida State University; teacher, performer, and recording artist Jamie Van Eyck Beceico; and Don Marazzo, head of the Classical Voice Department and Professor of Voice at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in Amsterdam. Diltz lives in New York City where she maintains a private voice studio. She teaches voice, vocal pedagogy, and jazz history, and is the director of Adelphi Opera Theatre at Adelphi University.

Diltz said that this year an orchestra would accompany all three productions. Scheduled performances are:

Cavalli's La Calisto - For this bawdy Baroque production, Diltz said that early music specialists would perform with authentic period instruments, such as the gamba (a bass violin), theorbo (a lute-like stringed instrument), harpsichord, and recorder. The instruments also will be on display in the Fain Fine Arts Theatre. La Calisto will be directed and conducted by Timothy Nelson, with assistant director Ryan Landis and assistant conductor Emily Baltzer.

            7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 26-27

La Cenerentola - This family-friendly retelling of the Cinderella story by Rossini will be directed by the University of Alabama's Director of Opera Theater Paul Houghtaling and conducted by Brian Holman, with assistant conductor Esme Wong.

            7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 28

The Little Prince - Rachel Portman's opera, performed in English, of the classic children's book by Antoine de Saint-ExupÚry will be directed by acclaimed stage director Corinne Hayes and conducted by Marc Sanders, pianist at Abilene Christian University.

            7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 27

All performances will be in the Fain Fine Arts Center Theatre. The RRLO invites Wichita Falls Youth Sympathy Orchestra members to the performances at no charge. General admission tickets are $10. MSU students, faculty, and staff will be admitted free.

For more information visit Red River Lyric Opera's website or email