NDSU Opera presents Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera Patience Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2:00 p.m. Pati
ence is a pointed satire of the aesthetic movement, which flourished in mid-19th century England and the United States. “Art for Art’s Sake” was its followers’ motto. More than 135 years since its premiere, today’s audience will still relate to this brilliant parody of art and the meaning of love.
In this operetta, all the upper-class young ladies in the village rapturously caught up in aestheticism, have conceived an affection for two aesthetic poets — a “fleshly” poet and an “idyllic” poet. But the poets are both in love with Patience, the simple village milkmaid, who cares nothing for poetry or art. Patience learns from the ladies that true love must be completely unselfish–it must “wither and sting and burn!” The girls’ Dragoon Guard ex-boyfriends don’t see the point to aesthetics, but they are willing to attempt their own “transfiguration” into devoted followers to win them back.
The production is performed entirely by NDSU students. Many of the performers have recently received awards at regional events, including the Metropolitan Opera Council National Auditions, the 2019 MTNA competition, as well as the Minnesota and the North Dakota chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. The costumes are designed by NDSU student Alyish Hilkert, a Senior in Apparel Studies with Theatre Arts, under the supervision of Professor Rooth Varland.
The orchestra will be conducted by Professor Michael Weber, the staging is directed by guest director Frederic Heringes, and the event is produced by Professor Mariane Lemieux-Wottrich. Weber, Heringes, and Lemieux are collaborating on the NDSU opera production for the second consecutive year. Together, they presented last year the “Opera Wars”, featuring Mozart’s The Impresario and Ravel’sL’enfant et les sortileges. They are excited to bring Patience to our community this year, one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s less performed work, a comical masterpiece worth discovering.
Both performances are at Festival Concert Hall located in NDSU’s Reineke Fine Arts Center, 12th Avenue North and Bolley Drive. Tickets are available at ndsu.showare.com or by calling the NDSU Performing Arts Box Office at 701.231.7969.