Luther College students to perform in Fall Opera Scenes

A semester of work for 19 Luther College students will conclude with Fall Opera Scenes performances in Luther's Jenson Noble Hall of Music in the Noble Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16 and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17.

The performances are open to the public with no charge for admission.

Fall Opera Scenes is directed by Edwin Andereck, Luther professor of music, and Jacob Lassetter, Luther associate professor of music, accompanied by Luther students Jordan Buchholtz, Robert Ragoonanan and Esme Wong.

According to Lassetter, the scenes format is perfect for new audiences as it provides a sampling of several operas, and also allows regular opera goers to learn about other works that are new to them. "The staging will be exciting and will challenge any pre-conceived notions the new audience member might have," Lassetter said.

Programmed excerpts include Rossini's "La Cenerentola," "I Pagliacci" by Leoncavallo, "Carmen" by Bizet, "La Traviata" by Verdi, "La Fille du Régiment" by Donizetti, "Manon" by Massenet, "Albert Herring" by Britten, "Don Pasquale" by Donizetti and Puccini's "La Rondine."

The scenes will be presented in original languages with projected English supertitles.

Students are selected for the program from auditions held during spring semester 2012. The scenes are then programmed with the selected students' voices in mind.            

Andereck holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music, and the bachelor's and master's degrees in vocal performance from the University of Tennessee.            

With more than 40 leading and supporting tenor roles under his belt, Andereck has performed with such opera companies as the Cincinnati Opera, Cleveland Lyric Opera, Charlotte Opera and the Cedar Rapids Opera.

Performing as Pinkerton in "Madama Butterfly" and Ferrando in "Cosi Fan Tutte," Andereck remains active as a recitalist and concert singer.

Lassetter holds the bachelor of music degree, magna cum laude, from Louisiana State University, the master of music degree from The University of North Texas and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. 

In 2012, Lassetter returned to his signature role of Germont in "La Traviata" with Opera Theatre of the Rockies. He most recently sang Germont in the summer of 2010 at Music by the Lake, and the role served as his Italian debut at the Teatro Accademico in Castelfranco Veneto. 

Before joining the voice faculty at Luther in 2006 he held teaching assistantships at the University of North Texas and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.