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UW-Eau Claire Announces Cast for
'Gianni Schicchi' and 'Suor Angelica'

RELEASED: Feb. 14, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire department of music and theatre arts' production of "Gianni Schicchi" and "Suor Angelica" will open at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center. Additional performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25-26 and Mar. 3-5, with a matinee performance at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6.

The two one-act operas are part of "Il Trittico," a group of three operas originally intended to be performed together, by Giacomo Puccini. The first of the set will be "Suor Angelica," a heartbreaking tragedy about a young woman banished to a convent after giving birth to an illegitimate child. Following intermission, the hysterical comedy "Gianni Schicchi" will take the stage, starring a clever con man and a greedy family looking to get their hands on the family fortune. Both operas will be performed in English. A common theme of the presence of good and evil in life ties the two very different stories together.

In "Suor Angelica," guest artist Tanya Kruse, a native of Waukesha and a faculty member at UW-Milwaukee, and senior Anna Nummelin, Stevens Point, will share the lead role of Sister Angelica. Kruse will be performing four of the seven shows. Kathryn Proctor Duax, professor of music, will appear as the Princess; senior Terra Stefansky, Waukesha, will play the Abbess; junior Amanda Verstegen, Appleton, will play the mistress of the novices; junior Reidun Henrickson, West St. Paul, Minn., will play the monitor; and sophomore Stephanie Holte, Sheboygan, will play Sister Genevieve.

Also in the cast are senior Amanda Blaylock, De Pere/Green Bay; sophomore Angela Lombardi, Waukesha; freshman Courtney Doyel, North Pole, Alaska; junior Rachel Stewart, New Richmond; freshman Lauren Tompkins, Eau Claire; junior Caitlin Walbrun, Hudson; junior Joanna Fulton, Janesville; and senior Aurora Conde, Eau Claire. The chorus of sisters and novices are played by senior Lindsay Andress, Suamico; junior Christine Ernst, Phillips; freshman Maureen Fox, Saint Cloud, Minn.; sophomore Andrea Fuss, Waupaca; senior Sara Caldart Olson, Mukwonago; junior Jill Redding, Hudson; and senior Erin Weaver, Stanley.

The cast of "Gianni Schicchi" will feature Robert Knight, professor of music, in the title role. Knight is also the show's musical director. Junior Margaret Aspinwall, Verona, will play Zita; junior C. Max Athorn, Minneapolis, Minn., will play Rinuccio; junior Mark C. Lundin, Blaine, Minn., will play Gherardo; senior Nicole Marie Peters, Maplewood, Minn., will play Lauretta; sophomore Kyle Robl, Merrill, will play Simone; senior Jesús Martinez Jr., Paradise, Calif., will play Marco; senior Christine Louise Schweikert, Coon Rapids, Minn., will play La Ciesca; senior Seth Boyd, Burnsville, Minn., will play Betto of Signa; and junior Marilyn Ann Spiess, Waconia, Minn., will play Nella. Also in the cast are junior Tim Baumann, River Falls, as Master Spinelloccio; junior David Peet, Dawson, Minn., as Amantio di Nicolao; junior David Grossman, St. Paul, Minn., as Pinellino; and sophomore Daniel Joseph Trelfa, Kenosha, as Guccio.

Junior Mark Saienga, Lakeville, Minn., is serving as the stage manager for the show. Senior Ashley J. Smith, Lone Rock, is the assistant stage manager.

Faculty member Jody Sekas, Eau Claire, is the scenic designer; senior Brian Hatfield, Walworth, is the lighting designer; junior Ryan Zirngibl, Medford, is the props designer; Arthur Gulig is the technical director; and Luisa Fumagalli is the costume designer for the show.

Mitra Sadeghpour, assistant professor of music and theatre arts, is serving as stage director, with Nobuyoshi Yasuda, assistant professor of music, conducting.

Support for the appearance of Tanya Kruse has been provided by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Academic Affairs Professional Development Program, with additional grant support from the UW-Eau Claire Opera Workshop, UW-Eau Claire Voice Area, and the UW-Eau Claire College of Arts and Sciences.

Tickets, available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727 or (800) 949-UWEC, are $10 for the general public, $8 for those 62 and older, $7 for children 17 and younger and faculty and staff with a university ID, and $6 for students with a university ID.

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CW/NW

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