GORHAM – Some of opera’s greatest hits will be performed when the University of Southern Maine’s Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra teams up with USM school of music opera faculty and students to present an opera gala.

The performance will take place at 8 o’clock tonight at Gorham Middle School Auditorium. Tickets are $6 for the general public, $3 for seniors and students. Call 780-5555.

To open the concert, Robert Lehmann will conduct the orchestra in the orchestral prelude from Richard Wagner’s opera “Die Meistersinger von Nurenberg.” Then faculty Ellen Chickering, Christian Astrachan and Margaret Yauger will take the stage to sing the “Trio” from Richard Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier.”

Benjamin Britten’s “Now sleeps the crimson petal” will be sung by Bruce Fithian, tenor, with John Boden performing the horn solo. The first half of the program will end with Giacomo Puccini’s Finale Act IV of “La Boheme” performed by students in the opera workshop.

The second half opens with Marshunda Smith of Saco, graduate conducting associate, conducting the orchestral prelude from Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana.” Following, the wife/husband duo of Margaret Yauger as Laura and Malcolm Smith as Alvise will sing “Belacosi Madonna” from “La Gioconda” by Amilcare Ponchielli.

Judith James as Rosabella and David Goulet as Tony will sing “My Heart is so full of you” from Frank Loesser’s opera/musical, “The Most Happy Fella.” The evening will conclude with the finale act of W. A. Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro,” featuring 11 members of the opera workshop.


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