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KU Opera presents “L’Enfant et les Sortiléges” and “Gianni Schicchi”

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The University of Kansas Department of Music & Dance welcomes Kathleen Belcher, the new director for KU Opera. Belcher will make her debut with two one-act operas, L ' Enfant et les Sortiléges by Maurice Ravel and Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini. The program commences with Gianni Schicchi, a story that begins with a death, that of Buoso Donati’s. It is rumored Donati has left his possessions to a monastery, but it is discovered his wealth has instead been left to the Friars. Donati’s family decides Gianni Schicchi is their only hope, and Schicchi hatches a plan that involves acting as the dead man in order to alter his will. After intermission, the evening continues with “L’enfant et les Sortiléges.” This opera involves an inconsiderate child who treats the toys, furniture and animals in his room badly, only to be antagonized by these objects when they later come to life. “We chose to produce two pieces for a variety of reasons,” said Belcher. “I wanted to get to know the students and their work, and the Ravel opera has a large number of roles to offer. By performing this I get to know the students and we have an opportunity to showcase our undergraduate students in smaller roles, and feature our graduate students in the larger parts.” She added, “With the Puccini opera, we are performing a more traditional, fully-realized production.” Stage director Kathleen Belcher recently completed her eighth year as a member of the directing staff at the Metropolitan Opera. She has worked extensively with the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera and the San Diego Opera, among others. Belcher assisted Peter Sellars on the world premiere of John Adams’ Dr. Atomic in San Francisco and helped to remount the production for The Netherlands Opera (Amsterdam), and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Woody Allen, Anthony Minghella, Bartlett Sher and Julie Taymor are a just a few of the many directors with whom Belcher has worked. Recently, she directed an acclaimed production of Madama Butterfly for the San Francisco Opera, which was shown in movie theatres nation-wide. KU Opera will present L’Enfant et les Sortiléges and Gianni Schicchi on Thursday, April 30, Saturday, May 2, and Monday, May 4, all at 7:30 p.m. in the Robert Baustian Theatre in Murphy Hall. Tickets are $15/general admission, $10/senior citizens and $7/students and can be purchased by calling the Murphy Hall Box Office at 785-864-3982 or the Lied Center Box Office at 785-864-2787. For more information, please contact the KU Department of Music & Dance at 785-864-3436 or visit www.arts.ku.edu.

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