The Lamar Opera Theatre will perform two operas, “Suor Angelica” and “Le Villi,” Friday through Sunday. The two short operas are by Giacomo Puccini.
“(Suor Angelica) is longing for her son,” Geralyn Harper, Houston senior, said. “She hasn’t seen him since she had to give him up. He should be seven now, but she doesn’t really know what’s going on with him. She’s (in a convent) on punishment for having a child out of wedlock — she wasn’t supposed to do that.”
Katrina Kelly, Houston junior, said that Suor Angelica does not fit in with the rest of the nuns.
“Suor Angelica is from a formal background — she doesn’t have a typical background that a lot of the nuns have, so she’s kind of set apart from a lot of the sisters in the convent,” she said. “I don’t want to give too much away about her background or what happens in the convent, but the plot centers around her.”
Kelly plays Sister Genevieve in “Suor Angelica.”
“She’s the sister that’s very happy and wants the best for everybody,” Kelly said. “She’s kind of your typical best friend, and is always helping everybody out the best that she can.”
Harper, who plays Sister Osmina, has performed with the Lamar Opera Theatre for five years.
“I am the nursing sister,” Harper said. “I play the troublemaker first, and then I play the kind of caring type of sister.”
The operas are in Italian and Kelly said that is the most challenging aspect of the opera.
“I not only have to translate my role, but I have to translate everything else that’s going on around me because I have to react to everything,” she said.
Brea Marshall, Houston junior, plays the female lead, Anna, in “Le Villi.”
“The story is about a girl and a boy who fall in love and they’re to be engaged,” Marshall said. “However, Roberto, who is her fiancé, has to go to Mainz to retrieve an inheritance. On the way, he’s entranced by a siren, so he’s gone for much longer than he had intended.”
This is Kelly’s debut with Lamar Opera Theatre.
“This is really my first experience with opera,” she said. “The people I’ve met are very talented. This is a very exciting experience.”
Puccini is perhaps most famous for his 1904 opera “Madama Butterfly.” Morgan Buie, Gardner, Kan., senior, said the two operas represent different periods in Puccini’s career.
“‘Le Villi’ was at the beginning of Puccini’s composing lifetime, and ‘Suor Angelica’ was at the end of his composing lifetime,” Buie, who plays Suor Angelica’s aunt, said. “Between the two shows, you can really see how he wrote at the beginning of his career as opposed to how he wrote at the end of his career. In ‘Suor Angelica,’ the way that it’s composed, the way that the music flows, is completely different from ‘Le Villi.’”
Buie said students who are not familiar with opera should check it out.
“It would be amazing to have all the support that we can,” she said. “Even if you don’t know what opera is or you think it’s something weird, come and see, because it’s not as weird as people might think.”
Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 880-8144.
UP staff writer