International Students Shine in IC Opera Production

02/14/2013

Contributed by Susan Monagan

The casts, crews and orchestras of Ithaca College’s current production of two Puccini one-act operas represent dozens of students from across the globe. Performances of “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi” will be held at 8 p.m. on Feb. 20, 22, 26, 28, and March 2. A 2 p.m matinee will be offered on Sunday, Feb. 24, with a talk-back led by conductor and music director Brian DeMaris immediately following the performance.

The production highlights students studying at Ithaca College from many countries. Portraying the title role of Suor Angelica is Wenhui Xu ’13, a graduate student from China. Mengchun Yang ’13 of China, thrilled audiences last season as she sang the Queen of the Night role in ‘The Magic Flute’. Mengchun returns to the Hoerner stage in the cast of “Gianni Schicchi”. Zoe Torres ’13 of Puerto Rico sings in “Suor Angelica” and helps tell the tale of the dark past of Sister Angelica in 17th- century Siena. Actress Daniela Schmiedlechner ’14, president of Ithaca’s International Club, also sings in “Suor Angelica.” Born in Cyprus to Austrian and Italian parents, Daniella lived in Salzburg, Austria before relocating to Kiev, Ukraine. Daniel’s globetrotting certainly can’t hurt her as she prepares to sing work written in German or, in the case of Puccini, Italian.

Many of the production’s international students are instrumentalists in the School of Music, and some are designers and crew members. Violinists Aiden Chan ‘16 and Xinying Liu ’14 are from Hong Kong and China, respectively. Timna Mayer, also on violin, is a native Austrian. Master carpenter E-Hui Woo ’15 is from Singapore. Other theatre department students working on the 2012-2013 season come from Mexico, Argentina, Thailand, the Netherlands, and Australia.

Written in 1918, Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi” belong to the composer’s “Il Trittico” (The Triptych) series of three one-act operas. Ticket prices for the event range from $5.50 and $11 and are on sale at all Ticket Center outlets, including Ticket Center Ithaca on the Commons and the Dillingham Center Box Office. For tickets, call (607) 274-3224, (607) 273-4497, or visit www.ithacaevents.com. For further information, visit www.ithaca.edu/mainstage or www.facebook.com/ICtheatrearts.

Dillingham Center accommodates all patrons. Individuals with special needs are asked to contact (607) 274-3224 to request accommodations as soon as possible

Pictures are Daniela Schmiedlechner ‘14 and Wenhui Xu ’13 (M.M.), singing in Puccini's "Suor Angelica" beginning February 20th.

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