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UNLV Opera Theatre presents double bill Nov. 14-15

Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” and Hindemith’s “Sancta Susanna” to be performed in the Dr. Arturo Rando-Grillot Recital Hall.
Arts & Culture  |  Nov 1, 2013  |  By Jennifer Vaughan
Media Contact: Jennifer Vaughan, 702-895-1575

The UNLV Opera Theater will present a double bill of two one-act operas -- Puccini's "Suor Angelica" and Hindemith's "Sancta Susanna" -- for its fall production at 7:30 p.m. on Thurs., Nov. 14 and Fri., Nov. 15 in the Dr. Arturo Rando-Grillot Recital Hall on the UNLV campus.

Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for UNLV faculty and staff, military, and seniors; and free for UNLV students with valid student I.D. Tickets can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Box Office, at pac.unlv.edu, or by calling 895-ARTS (2787).

Linda Lister, director of the UNLV Opera Theater directs, with Jae Ahn-Benton as pianist and Suzanne Stone as organist. Assistant director is Daniel Hunter while chorus master is Kaitlin Simonson.

"Suor Angelica" is a tragedy about a young woman who is sent to live in a convent after having a child out of wedlock. She has become accustomed to the life in the convent and her vows, and is especially close to the young Sister Genevieve. Sister Angelica's aunt, the Principessa, comes to the convent to demand that Angelica relinquish the rights to her inheritance in favor of her younger sister. Angelica continues to press her aunt for news about her child, and eventually the Principessa coldly tells Angelica that her child died. This news affects Angelica so deeply that she decides to end her own life. As she is dying, she has a vision of heavenly mercy and sees her child beckoning to her from above.

The cast includes Sheronda McKee and Cordelia Anderson as Sister Angelica; Nicole Thomas as The Monitor; Bonita Bunt as Lay Sister Bonita; Cady Marshall as Sister Osmina; Stephanie Redman as The Mistress of the Novices; Lindsay Cinningham and Richelle Janushan as Sister Genevieve; Heather Elise as Novice Sister Lucilla; Eliysheba Anderson as Sister Dolcina; Cassandra O'Toole as The Nursing Sister; Carolina Gamazo and Olivia Sirota as The Touri?res; Nicole Harris as The Abbess; and Stephanie Weiss and Belinda Jackley as The Principessa.

Since its composition in 1921, "Sancta Susanna" has been one of the 20th century's most controversial works. Dealing with the conflict between celibacy and lust, the expressionist-influenced work tells the story of Susanna, a pious nun who is advised by her fellow sister Klementia to become aware of her physical desires. Recalling Sister Beata, who was imprisoned as punishment for kissing an image of the crucified Jesus, Sister Klementia realizes that her comments have already set events in motion and the plot unfolds, feeling a mystical rapture, Susanna later removes her nun's habit and embraces the cross.

The cast includes Lillian Roberts and Carrie Wachsberger as Susanna; Stephanie Weiss as Klementia; Stephanie Redman as Eine Magd; Jonathan Mancheni as Ein Knecht; and Nicole Thomas as the Alte Nonne.