Temple Times Online Edition
    MARCH 17, 2005
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Temple Opera Theater wins national competition for second straight year

Temple Opera Theater won its second first-place award from the National Opera Association for its production of Pietro Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz, staged in November 2003. Boyer
students (from left) In Joon Yang and Young Joo An starred.

A first-place award from the National Opera Association in its annual Opera Production Competition has thrust Temple Opera Theater into the national spotlight for the second consecutive year.

The Level 1 Award — the highest of five categories of competition — was presented at the NOA’s annual convention earlier this year in New York. Founded in 1955, the NOA is an international organization that serves the opera performance and educational activities of academic institutions and small regional opera companies.

Temple Opera Theater won for its production of Pietro Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz, staged in November 2003, in Tomlinson Theater. It was conducted by Temple Opera Theater music director John Douglas, directed by guest artist Laura Johnson and produced by the Opera Theater’s James Johnson.

“This is a wonderful honor for our opera program, and it underscores the excellence of the training and performance opportunities the program affords our students,” said Robert Stroker, dean of the Boyer College of Music and Dance.

“It is particularly gratifying to receive this award for a second time in just two years,” said Douglas, who is also a voice and opera professor at Boyer. “The NOA competition is the only one of its kind, with judges from the top opera programs in the country. Temple has done wonderful productions for many years. This recognition is a testament to the priorities of our program: giving our students the training, skills and focus to achieve the highest level of artistic excellence.”

The 19th-century opera L’Amico Fritz is one that is not frequently performed in this country but is quite well-known, Douglas noted.

“The lyricism of this work showcased the high level of our singers, and the romantic passion of the writing really featured our wonderful orchestra. The sets were designed and built by us, and looked wonderful, along with the costumes and great stage direction — we really had a well-balanced production.”

Entries were submitted on videotape and divided into five judging categories, based on the scope of the program. They were judged anonymously for their musical accuracy and style, quality of singing and accompaniment, directorial concept, quality of acting and production values. Scenes from the winning productions were shown at the NOA convention’s awards banquet.

Temple Opera Theater’s next production, Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, will be staged on April 15 and 17 in Tomlinson Theater.

By Harriet Goodheart

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