With symphony concerts, ensemble concerts and a full-scale opera, Fort Hays State University's Department of Music is preparing for an eventful spring concert season.
"We are incredibly busy preparing for this season," said instructor of music Joseph Perniciaro. "We have a line of top quality events planned for the public."
Perniciaro is the director of the upcoming opera written by English composer Henry Purcell.
Dating back to 1689, "Purcell's Perfect Little Jewel of an Opera" is the only true opera written by Purcell and is considered one of the finest ever written to an English text. Perniciaro describes the opera as a "very dramatic love story with a twist."
"The opera is unique because of the combination of music and text," said Perniciaro. "Purcell is a master of setting the inflection of the language that brings out the meaning of the text. It's more than a pretty melody; the words are reflected in the music."
The performance features a cast of nine lead singers, a large female chorus and a full orchestra. Cast members are a combination of students, members of the faculty and members of the community.
"The opera is a true ensemble work. All of the roles are important, including that of the chorus," said Perniciaro.
The opera shows at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, and Saturday, Jan. 28, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29.
Aside from the opera, several concerts are also planned for the season, including guest and faculty recitals.
"We believe in teaching by example," said Perniciaro. "When our students see us perform, they are more apt to understand what we're expecting from them."
The Giulio Draghi Guest Recital begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19. Next in line is the Tali Morgulis Faculty Recital at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22, followed by the Steve Maxwell Guest Recital at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26.
The Kristin Pisano Faculty Recital will kick off February events beginning at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2. Next in line is the Amanda Pfenninger Guest Recital at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5. The Percussion Ensemble Concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, followed by the Performing Arts Gala Concert at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18.
March events will begin with the Choirs Concert at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 2. The biannual Hays Symphony Orchestra Concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 5. The Paula Boire Faculty Recital is at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 6, and the Symphony Winds/Wind Ensemble Concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 9. The David Kassler Faculty Recital is at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 12. James Nalley's Guest Piano Recital will wrap up the March events at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 30.
April begins with the Cottonwood Project Benefit Concert at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 6. The Brass Choir Concert is at 8 p.m. on Monday, April 10. The Ben Morris-Cline Faculty Recital is at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 13. The Small Ensembles Concert is at 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 16. The Jazz Ensembles Concert is at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 20.
The Western Kansas String Academy Spring Concert is at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 22. The Joseph Perniciaro Faculty Recital is at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 23. The Hays Symphony Orchestra and Choirs Combined Concert is at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 30.
Wrapping up the spring concert season is the Symphony Winds/Wind Ensemble Concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 5.
All performances will take place at the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall on the FHSU campus. Exceptions are the opera, which will be at Felten-Start Theatre in Malloy Hall on the FHSU campus, and the Brass Choir Concert at the United Methodist Church, 305 W. Seventh.
Admission to the performances is $6 for the public and $4 for FHSU students. Exceptions are the Performing Arts Gala Concert, which is $10 for all patrons, and both the Brass Choir Concert and the WKSA Spring Concert, which are free admission.
For a complete list of events, visit www.fhsu.edu/music/calendar.shtml.