University Opera 2023/24 Productions

Each year, we present an annual season of two fully staged operas, as well as evenings of opera scenes and one-act operas.

La Calisto - Nov. 17-Nov. 21, 2023

Purchase tickets
$30 Reserved Seating
$25 Seniors
$10 Students

November 17 at 7:30 pm
November 18 at 7:30 pm
November 19 at 2 pm; Special pre-performance panel discussion at 12:30 pm
November 21 at 7:30 pm
Music Hall

Inspired by the myth of Calisto from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Francesco Cavalli’s Baroque opera La Calisto explores themes of gender and power, sex and consent, revenge and justice, mortality and morality. With a lot of comedy thrown in.

Through Cavalli’s expressive score, the gods are brought down to earth, both figuratively and literally. Here they let it all hang out and prove that they are every bit as lustful, pernicious, and simple-minded as mortal human beings.

Jove is in love with Calisto, a devoted follower of the goddess Diana. On advice from Mercury, he disguises himself as Diana and successfully seduces Calisto. Jove’s wife, Juno, takes revenge, turning Calisto into a bear. But Jove manages to save Calisto by transforming her into a constellation, Ursa Major. Along the way, Diana falls in love with the beautiful shepherd Endymion and various hijinks are provided by Linfea, another follower of Diana, and a trio of satyrs.

The production, featuring an ensemble of period instruments – harpischords, theorbo, baroque guitar, baroque harp, organ, and baroque strings – will create an authentic sound world characteristic of the seventeenth century.  

Everlasting Faint - December 9, 2023

Purchase tickets
General admission: $10
Students: Free (ticket required)

December 9, 2023 at 3 pm
Collins Recital Hall

A world premiere reading of a new opera by
Scott Gendel, music
Sandra Flores-Strand, libretto

Ticket includes entry to pre-show talk with Scott Gendel and Sandra Flores-Strand at 2 pm in Collins Recital Hall.

In 1897, Elva Heaster Shue was murdered by her husband Trout in Greenbrier, WV. The coroner dismissed her death as natural causes (“everlasting faint,” a dismissive diagnosis for women’s unexplained deaths in those times). But after her mother Mary starts receiving nightly visits from Elva’s ghost, along with other ghosts from Trout’s past, she pushes to bring Trout to trial and to justice, fighting alongside those ghosts, through layers of bias in cases involving crimes against women.

University Opera presents a world-premiere reading of a brand new opera, Everlasting Faint. Based on the legend of the Greenbrier Ghost with libretto by Sandra Flores-Strand and music by Scott Gendel, this work is both an entertaining old-fashioned ghost story as well as a serious piece that addresses cases of bias involving crimes against women.

The Light in the Piazza - March 15, March 16, March 17, & March 19, 2024

Purchase tickets
$30 general public
$25 senior citizens
$10 UW–Madison students

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. UW–Madison 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 Light in the Piazza
Music and Lyrics by ADAM GUETTEL
Produced by arrangement with Turner Entertainment Co.
Owner of the original motion picture “Light In The Piazza”
Based on the Novel by Elizabeth Spencer

The Light in the Piazza is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals.

Opera Showcase - Sept. 30, 2023

September 30, 2023 at 2 pm
Collins Recital Hall

Reception to follow in the Hamel Music Center lobby

Opera Workshop Performances - Nov. 28, 2023 & April 9, 2024

November 28, 2023 at 7:30 pm
Music Hall

April 9, 2024 at 7:30 pm
Music Hall