Shepherd School presents works from J. Strauss, Gounod and Puccini for spring opera

Love will be in the air as the Shepherd School Opera, Chamber Orchestra and the Rice Chorale join forces to present their spring opera, “Romance x 3,” March 19 and 21 at 8 p.m. in Stude Concert Hall. The performance will be conducted by Richard Bado, director of the Opera Studies Program, with guest Edward Berkeley as stage director.

Romance x 3 full shot

Rice students Joseph Mishler and Kelley Kimball perform a scene from Puccini's "La Bohème."

The opera will feature a trio of acts from “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss Jr., “Roméo et Juliette” by Charles Gounod and “La Bohème” by Giacomo Puccini. The performances showcase the Shepherd School’s full spectrum of music programs — a true ensemble cast of opera, orchestra and chorus.

“Guest directing ‘Romance x 3′ at Rice has been an invigorating adventure: three terrific romantic acts in three distinct performance styles,” Berkeley said. “But the most exciting part is how extremely well prepared everyone in the production has been right from the first staging. This has allowed us to rehearse on a high level, which is exactly what every opera program aims for and Rice’s achieves.”

Although the plots of these operas may be well-known to many, the twist comes as the characters of each opera cast romance in the lead role. Bado has selected one act to be performed from each work, resulting in a multifaceted portrayal of love in all its humor, glory and fragility.

“It has been a delight to put together this program of excerpts from three of opera’s great romantic hits,” said Bado. “A definite feel-good evening of beautiful music and great singing.”

Admission is $8 for students and senior citizens and $10 for all other patrons. For tickets, call the Shepherd School Concert Office at 713-348-8000.

For more information on the Shepherd School of Music, visit http://music.rice.edu.

About Amy Hodges

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.