TAMIU Opera Workshop Performances This Weekend

TAMIU Opera Workshop
Takes on Cavalli Feb. 22-24

Jessica Cardenas and Debbie Hernandez
L to R - Jessica Cardenas as Mirinda and Debbie Hernandez as Erisbe

How often can you enjoy live opera in Laredo?

This weekend, that would be three times at the second annual student opera performance at Texas A&M International University Friday, Feb. 22; Saturday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts' Recital Hall.

Admission is $7.50 for adults and $5 for students.

The TAMIU Opera Workshop will perform “L’Ormindo,” an opera in two acts by early Baroque composer Francesco Cavalli with realization by Raymond Leppard.

Mariko Morita, TAMIU visiting assistant professor of organ and accompanist, will perform Cavalli’s orchestration on the TAMIU Sharkey-Corrigan Organ.

“The original storyline of Giovanni Faustini’s Italian libretto takes place during the times of the Roman Empire and centers around a young, beautiful Moroccan queen who is bored in her marriage to the country’s elderly king and becomes involved with two foreign princes, Ormindo and Amida, at the same time,” said Dana Crabtree, TAMIU voice instructor and stage director.

The version that the TAMIU Opera Workshop will perform will take a contemporary form.

“Our production will be a modern take on this older storyline. We have updated the setting to present-day Hollywood, turning the young Moroccan queen into a young, famous A-lister actress who married an elderly entertainment mogul billionaire for his money. The characters of the two princes have also been turned into movie stars, and so on.  Students will sing an English version of the original Italian libretto authored by Geoffrey Dunn,” explained Crabtree.

The updated production featuring multimedia effects brings home the universality of the opera's themes of love, betrayal, redemption and forgiveness, making it accessible to seasoned opera goers and first-time initiates alike. 

“The subject matter may not be appropriate for small children and younger audience members,” Crabtree cautioned.

“We are also delighted to have the unique opportunity to collaborate with visiting assistant professor Morita and show Laredo audiences the seemingly endless versatility of the Sharkey Corrigan Organ,” Crabtree said.

For more information, contact Crabtree at 326.3040 or dcrabtree@tamiu.edu or visit offices in CFPA 233A.

University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu