The Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company presents the next mainstage opera, La Rondine, by Giacomo Puccini.
The three-act show tells the emotional story of “Magda,” a courtesan in the early 20th century who longs to taste the sweetness of true love, and once she is given a chance at happiness, must decide between this blissful, budding romance and her previous immoral life that has come to haunt her heart.
Sarah Kuhlmann and Karlye Whitt, vocal performance seniors, are double-cast as “Magda.” The male lead is “Ruggero,” Magna’s newfound love interest, performed by Ben Hopkins and Sam Schlievert, second-year opera performance graduates.
“Being a part of this show is a dream come true,” Kuhlmann said. “Puccini’s music is absolutely gorgeous and really tells the story.”
The stage manager for the show, Erin Patterson, design and production junior, shares similar sentiments.
“Working on La Rondine has been such a great learning experience,” she said. “I really love music, so for me, opera is the perfect combination of the beauty and dexterity of music that also showcases the talent of my fellow students and the intricacies of human emotions so well that even language is not a barrier.”
Before writing La Rondine, Puccini was known to be involved in several romantic ventures that often crossed the border of acceptability into the scandalous. The emotion drawn from these activities has made it into his operas, Kuhlmann said.
“The emotional journey is intense,” she said. “Magda is such a passionate person who is always striving for adventure and freedom. Playing her has been very liberating.”
The cast of La Rondine will perform the opera in Italian, with English supertitles.
The show will be performed at 8 p.m. Nov. 18-19, and 3 p.m. Nov. 20 in Kirkpatrick Auditorium in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center.
Ticket prices range from $14-$28.
Karen Coe Miller, the show’s director, will give an optional, free pre-show talk 45 minutes before every performance in Petree Recital Hall in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center.
More information on the show can be found on the box office tab at www.okcu.edu, or by calling 405-208-5227.
Jake Bannerman, design and production junior, said he looks forward to seeing the production.
“I am always excited to see an opera because it promises to have a wow factor, a spectacle within the show that makes it larger than life, while keeping the story something that everyone can relate to,” he said.