An Evening of Puccini

Article Published: Mar. 17, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
An Evening of Puccini

Caryn Crozier, left, and Paul Whitehead perform in Puccini's opera "Gianni Schicchi" March 24-27 at the Hayes Performing Arts Center in Blowing Rock. David Clark is pictured in the background.

Photo by Katie Watson

Student musicians from Appalachian State University's Opera Theatre and Symphony Orchestra will perform two one-act Puccini operas March 24-27.

The performances will take place in the newly reopened Hayes Performing Arts Center in Blowing Rock, which is located at 152 Jamie Fort Road in Blowing Rock. Sung in English, the performances will last about two hours. They begin at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $5 for all students. Tickets are $10 for the general public. Tickets go on sale March 14 and may be purchased at the Farthing Box Office on Appalachian's campus or by calling (800) 841-2787 or (828) 262-4046. Tickets also are available online at and at the Hayes Performing Arts Center before each performance.

The performances will star the internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Mary Gayle Greene as she sings the role of The Princess in Puccini's one-act opera, "Suor Angelica." Greene commands an impressive breadth of repertoire encompassing many musical styles, and her voice has been hailed as "molten chocolate with a dark mahogany, deep plush mezzo-soprano sound."

Students from the Hayes School of Music also will be featured vocalists.

"Suor Angelica" is set in a Florentine convent and chronicles the story of Sister Angelica, as she struggles to redeem her past and justify the future.

The second one-act opera to be performed is "Gianni Schicchi," which follows the Donati family as they attempt to settle the wealthy estate of their recently deceased uncle. Stuck in dilemma, the town rogue, Gianni Schicchi, offers to save the day, but does he?

The Appalachian Opera Theatre is directed by Dr. Joseph Amaya, a member of the Hayes School of Music faculty since 1989. Previously, Amaya enjoyed a professional career as a director and toured internationally singing roles, such as Germont from "La traviata" and Dulcamara from "L'elisir d'amore."

Dr. James Allen Anderson, director of orchestral activities in the Hayes School of Music, will conduct the orchestra.

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