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The Illinois State University Civic Chorale and Midwest Institute of Opera present Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci

Image of the ISU Civic Chorale performing on stage at their 50th Anniversary Concert.

Founded in 1968, the Illinois State University Civic Chorale is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The Illinois State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music invite you to Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, sung in Italian with English supertitles and presented by the Civic Chorale in collaboration with Midwest Institute of Opera Festival Orchestra at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 6, in the Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall.

The saga of a jilted lover and a jealous husband, I Pagliacci tells the tale of Canio, the leader of a traveling commedia dell’arte troupe. Canio is the clown who must laugh, and make others laugh, while masking his grief after learning that his wife Nedda has betrayed him with another man. In the end, art meets tragedy in a rage of passion and jealousy.

Joining the Civic Chorale is Metropolitan Opera tenor, Allan Glassman, as the character Canio. Glassman has thrilled audiences throughout America and Europe for decades with his vibrant timbre and committed interpretations of roles. Glassman will present a masterclass at 7 p.m. on  Friday April 5, in the Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall.

Additional cast members of I Pagliacci include: Stephen Hobe, baritone as Tonio; Macauley Allen, tenor as Peppe; Katherine Weber, soprano as Nedda; and Anthony Gullo, baritone as Silvio.

The Illinois State University Civic Chorale is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Founded in 1968, the ISU Civic Chorale has a membership of more than 100 choristers who are ISU students, music majors and non-majors, faculty and staff, alumni, and commu­nity members. The Civic Chorale performs a concert every academic semester, collaborate with other ISU ensembles, and participates in community events such as Carols at the McLean County Museum of History. In addition to masterworks, the Civic Chorale performs works by contemporary composers such as Eric Whitacre, Dan Forrest, John Rutter, and others. The Civic Chorale is directed by Professor John Koch, who has expertise in choral music and opera.

The Midwest Institute of Opera has been in residence on the Illinois State University campus since July 2011. The company was started as an effort to provide professional opportunities for emerging opera artists, pianists, and conductors to perform in a full opera production.

The Master Class with Allan Glassman is free and open to the public. Tickets for the performance on I Pagliacci can be purchased from the College of Fine Arts Box Office, located in the Illinois State University Center for the Performing Arts, open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at (309) 438-2535, or online at Ticketmaster.com. Performance parking is available for free in the School Street Parking Deck in spots 250 and above, 400 W. Beaufort St., Normal.

Both events are sponsored in part by the Civic Chorale Excellence Fund. To preserve and ensure this long community choir tradition, the Excellence Fund was established by longtime members of the Chorale. Gifts to the Civic Chorale Excellence Fund support the operations of the group by funding the purchase of music and other costs related to providing concerts on and off campus, and enable the group to invite guest artists such as Allan Glassman.

If you are interested in joining the Civic Chorale or supporting the Civic Chorale Excellence Fund, please contact John Koch.

For a schedule of upcoming School of Music concerts and events, visit the College of Fine Arts events calendar and follow the Illinois State University Civic Chorale on Facebook.

 

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