The University of Maryland Opera Studio presents Blitzstein’s Regina for four performances April 8 through 16.
Regina opened on Broadway in 1949,at a time when composers sought to create works which openly challenged the boundaries between opera and musical theater. Blitzstein especially defied conventional genre categories with his dramatic works. The Cradle Will Rock arguably set the stage for the opera-on-Broadway trend, later followed by Menotti, Weill, Bernstein and others. Bernstein, Blitzstein’s colleague and close friend, regarded Regina as Blitzstein’s first truly successful attempt to create a work that satisfied the demands of both opera and Broadway audiences, calling it “a kind of apex, a summation of what Blitzstein has been trying to do.”
Maryland Opera Studio’s production also seeks to bridge the divide between opera and theater, and will bring together a cross-disciplinary team of students from the UMD School of Music and School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, including singers, jazz musicians and theatre design majors. From lighting and set design to costume creation and choreography, students involved in Regina will gain hands-on experience in every element of opera production and performance. As part of MOS’s “Opera Resonates!” series, the April 10 performance will be preceded by a discussion titled “Regina: Is It All Black and White?” exploring the opera’s treatment of racial and social issues still relevant today.
UMD received a Kurt Weill Foundation grant for university performance, one of four KWF grants awarded this year for performances of Blitzstein’s works.
Event listing on the performance calendar.
Press release from the University of Maryland.