Purchase tickets

After recently winning The American Prize for its 2022 production of Sweeney Todd, University Opera closes the 2023-24 season by returning to the crossover between classical voice and contemporary musical theatre, presenting The Light in the Piazza by Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas. Four performances will be presented at Music Hall on the UW–Madison campus: March 15 at 7:30 pm; March 16 at 7:30 pm; March 17 at 2 pm; and March 19 at 7:30 pm. Vocal coach Thomas J. Kasdorf will stage direct, and Professor Oriol Sans, Director of Orchestral Activities, will be the music director for the production.

The winner of six Tony Awards in its original Broadway run, including Best Original Score, The Light in the Piazza follows Margaret Johnson and her daughter Clara in the summer of 1953 on their vacation in Italy, where the return of a windswept hat by a handsome stranger sets the pair on an unexpected journey. A lush, soaring operatic score by Adam Guettel (Days of Wine and Roses, Floyd Collins) and book by Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, An American in Paris) brings this tale of love, regret, and hope to life. Joining the cast will be a 16-piece student orchestra, helmed by Sans and graduate assistant Daewon Kang.

The ensemble cast for the University Opera production features Madison Barrett and Eliza Morris alternating in the role of Margaret Johnson, and Isabel Celata and Avery Brutosky as her daughter Clara. Will Volmar and Benjamin Johnson will both portray Fabrizio Nacarelli, with Grady Hayden as his father, Signor Nacarelli, and Eloise Berkley and Katie Eggers sharing the role of his mother, Signora Nacarelli. Michael Chiaverini and Corey Lallo will share the role of Giuseppe Nacarelli, with May Kohler and Minseon Lee splitting performances as Giuseppe’s wife, Franca. Evan Mitchell will perform the role of Roy Johnson, Brendin Larson will appear as Tour Guide, and Augustine Ahn will play Priest. Rounding out the cast is an ensemble of skilled undergraduate performers, including Samuel Arnold, Riley Brutto, Elizabeth Cantwell, Alex Cook, Eric Luebke, Isabella Nowka, and Elena Paul.

The scenic concept is by Greg Silver, scenic construction by Zane Enloe and Scott Shapiro, and guest artist (and UW-Madison alumnus) Matthew Albrecht will be the lighting designer. Costumes will be designed by Kenneth Hoversten and Emily Popp. Sara Bartlett provides choreography, and Zak Wolff will be the propertiess designer. Musical preparation will be by William Preston, and Frankie Bones is the rehearsal pianist. Others on the production staff include Alissa Berman, production stage manager; Meghan Stecker and Eva Perez as assistant stage managers; Benjamin Johnson, operations manager for University Opera; and Katie Eggers and Kyla Moore, costume assistants.

Tickets are $30 for the general public, $25 for senior citizens, and $10 for UW–Madison students, available in advance through the Campus Arts Ticketing office at (608) 265-ARTS and online. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office Monday-Friday, 11:30 am-5:30 pm, and Saturdays, 12-5 pm. Tickets may also be purchased at the door beginning one hour before the performance. The Carol Rennebohm Auditorium is located in the Music Hall at the foot of Bascom Hill on Park Street.