UGA Opera Theatre brings the rarely-performed opera in three acts L'amico Fritz to the Fine Arts Theatre Feb. 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. with a matinee performance Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.
"I have wanted to bring this particular opera to UGA ever since I arrived here," said Frederick Burchinal, the Wyatt and Margaret Anderson Professor in the Arts and Opera Theatre director. "I had the opportunity to perform it with the San Francisco Opera in 1976 and fell in love with it. Now, we have the students in place to bring it to life."
The opera tells the tale of a wealthy landowner who bets that he will never marry, wagering his entire vineyard to his best friend. When Suzel, the daughter of Fritz's tenant, arrives on the scene, things become much more complicated for the bachelor. The "Cherry Duet," sung between Fritz and Suzel in Act 2, has become a staple of operatic duet repertoire.
"It's a rare gem—a beautifully written opera about an unlikely couple who end up finding love," said Burchinal. "‘L'amico Fritz' is full of melodies so enchanting that they touch listeners as much as performers."
UGA's production will feature Brett Pardue as the career bachelor Fritz, Isaiah Feken as his friend Rabbi David and Elisabeth Slaten as the young Suzel. The cast also includes students Marisan Corsino (Beppe), Dinesh Gurpur (Federico), Henry Adams (Hanezò), Alexis Minogue (Caterina) and the UGA Opera Ensemble Chorus.
The performance welcomes back guest conductor Maestro Imre Palló,
Our students and Hodgson school faculty do a fantastic job preparing and staging these productions. Great music and terrific singing. If you've never experienced opera in the Fine Arts Theatre, you owe it to yourself (and a friend) to make an evening out of it. And kudos to Professor Burchinal for such a wonderful selection of repertoire.
Image: Fine Arts Theatre