O. Henry Opera World Premiere
Juneau Opera To Go will present the world premiere of two one-act operas written by the parents of UAS Associate Professor of English, Nina Chordas.
Juneau Opera To Go will present the world premiere of two one-act operas written by the parents of UAS Associate Professor of English, Nina Chordas. Her mother, Nina Soudakoff Chordas, wrote the libretti based on the O. Henry short stories, "Gift of the Magi" and "The Last Leaf"; her father, Michel Chordas, set them to music. Both of Professor Chordas's parents were immigrants, her mother from China and her father from Latvia. They taught Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and collaborated on several operas. Michel Chordas studied at the Musical Conservatory in Riga, Latvia before being forced to flee the country during World War II. Unfortunately, neither lived to see their work performed.
Dr. Chordas serves on the Board of Directors of Opera To Go, and will be part of a short presentation about the life and times of the composer during the performance. This is an exciting production, featuring musical direction by W. Todd Hunt, artistic direction by Roald Simonson, and set design by Akiko Nishijima Roch. A veritable pantheon of superb Juneau singers completes the cast. The operas both take place in New York's Greenwich Village in the early 20th century, and are eminently suitable for the holiday season. "The Gift of the Magi" is the beloved story of a young husband and wife who each sacrifice their most precious possession in order to give each other the greatest gift of all. "The Last Leaf" tells the story of a young woman who has lost her will to live, and the aging artist who paints his masterpiece just for her. All performances take place at Thunder Mountain High School: Saturday, December 12 at 8 pm; Friday, December 18 at 8 pm; Saturday, December 19 at 8 pm; and Sunday, December 20 at 3 pm. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for seniors, and $5 for students of any age, and may be purchased at Hearthside Books or at the door. One ticket is good for any and all performances.