UNLV Opera premieres State of Grace at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11 and 12 in the Judy Bayley Theatre. State of Grace is a one-act opera by Linda Lister, associate professor of music, director of UNLV Opera, and author of Yoga for Singers: Freeing Your Voice and Spirit through Yoga. In the opera, a yoga teacher named Grace is confronted with a breast cancer diagnosis that forces her to rediscover the yoga principles she has taught for years.
This world premiere of State of Grace stars mezzo-soprano Erin Gonzalez as Grace, with Hunter Rose Turner as her cover/understudy. The cast includes Casey Dakus and Tyler Urbano, cover/understudy, as cancer survivor and new yoga student Mary; sopranos Emily Clements and Lisa Elliott as Instagram yogini Felicity; tenors Ranon Pador and Matthew Sink as the friendly jock Randy; and bass-baritones Aaron Pendleton and Andrew Williams as the hippie Leif. Sopranos Moriah Berry and Tamara Richards share the dual role of the doctor and yoga teacher Breezy.
The production is presented as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a portion of ticket sales will benefit Stand Up to Cancer. The music of the opera showcases chanting and sung mantras, and the production requires the performers to sing while they practice yoga poses. Composer, librettist, and director Lister shares that "State of Grace is the ultimate creative realization of my experience as an opera director, composer, yogi, and survivor. There has never been an opera written about yoga and cancer. It is my hope that State of Grace will be an educational and empowering experience for both the singers and the audience.”
Tickets are $10. Discounts are available. Students can receive free admission with their student ID. Tickets are available at the Performing Arts Center online or by calling 702-895-ARTS (2787).