Valley Students Perform in Inaugural “Opera Project” Production

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Valley High School student musicians are participating in The Opera Project DSM’s inaugural performance, a community-based production of Giacomo Puccini’s “Suor Angelica.” The West Des Moines Community Schools will host the “Suor Angelica” performances in the Staplin Performing Arts Center, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines. Performances on March 4 and March 5 begin at 8 p.m. The March 6 performance begins at 6 p.m. All performances are open to the public and free of charge.

The Valley Chamber Orchestra will be featured as the string section for the opera’s orchestra, and select students from the Valley band program will perform on oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trombone, and percussion. A member of the Valley vocal department is also performing. The performance is an inviting introduction to opera; it is only 75 minutes long and will feature English supertitles above the stage. One-third of Puccini’s famed “Triptych” collection, “Suor Angelica” features themes of acceptance and forgiveness, and is set in a convent.

This production provides West Des Moines Community Schools students with an opportunity to work with college-level musicians and three professional vocalists: Leyla Martinucci, Margaret Newcomb and Shannon Roberts. The production will be conducted by Maestro Stefano Vignati, a world-renowned conductor and founder of the Italian American Opera Foundation and the International Lyric Academy in Viterbo, Italy.

Vignati is also co-founder of The Des Moines Opera Project, a new initiative aiming to empower the Des Moines community with an appreciation for opera. It was founded in 2015 by Vignati and local vocal instructor Gloria Olson.

Please join us for The Opera Project DSM’s inaugural performances of “Suor Angelica.”