University of South Carolina

Denise Boylan and John Callison
Denise Boylan and John Callison as Clara and Fabrizio.

Opera at USC to perform ‘The Light In The Piazza’

The University of South Carolina’s Opera at USC will perform Adam Guettel’s “The Light In The Piazza” Friday and Sunday, Nov. 6 and 8, in Drayton Hall.

Directed by Ellen Douglas Schlaefer, the performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Single-ticket prices are as follows: adults, $18; seniors, faculty, staff and military, $15; students, $5.

The musical takes place in Italy in the summer of 1953. Margaret Johnson, the wife of an American businessman, is touring the Tuscan countryside with her daughter, the beautiful but surprisingly childish Clara. While sightseeing, Clara loses her hat in a sudden gust, which magically carries the hat to the feet of Fabrizio Naccarelli, a handsome Florentine who returns it to Clara. The brief encounter sparks an immediate and intense romance, which the protective Margaret tries to thwart. As the drama unfolds, a secret about Clara is revealed, and Margaret faces a choice that could affect the future of them both.

Dr. Tina Milhorn Stallard, assistant professor of voice, will play the role of Margaret Johnson. Senior music majors Denise Boylan and John Callison will play Clara and Fabrizio, respectively. Graduate students Peter Barton and Jing Quitain will play Fabrizio’s parents; Michael LaRoche will play the womanizing brother, Guiseppe; and Stephanie Beinlich will play the long suffering Franca, Guiseppe’s sexy and passionate wife. The ensemble also includes Columbia theater veterans Stann Gwynn and Rusty Sox.

Neil Casey will conduct the USC Opera Orchestra, with musical preparation by Dr. Lynn Kompass, assistant professor of voice.

Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Original Score and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music, ‘The Light In The Piazza’ offers a unique blend of musical theater and opera.

“The story unfolds in both Italian and English,” said director Schlaefer. “There are no subtitles, as per design of the composer. Guettel’s music is lyrical, theatrical and is fast becoming a favorite of music schools throughout the country. I believe Opera at USC is only the third or fourth university program to present “The Light In The Piazza,” and I am delighted that this is one of the first productions in South Carolina.”

For more information on “The Light In The Piazza” and the 2009-10 season, contact Schlaefer at 803-777-0058.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 10/22/09 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 10/22/09 @ 3:17 PM | Permalink

"The Light In The Piazza"

  • What: Opera by Adam Guettel
  • Who: Ellen Douglas Schlaefer to direct Opera at USC performance
  • When: Friday, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 8, 3 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Drayton Hall

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