NEA chairman to attend opera premiere at UCA

An audience including Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, is expected at UCA tomorrow night for the world premiere of The Scarlet Letter opera.

Acclaimed American composer Lori Laitman has teamed up with award-winning American poet David Mason to create the opera, an adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s literary masterpiece, which was commissioned by UCA.

“UCA will be one of the few universities — maybe the only one — in America during 2008 to have a first performance of a newly composed opera,” said Dr. Rollin Potter, dean of UCA’s College of Fine Arts and Communication. “This is a major artistic accomplishment, not only for our campus, but for the State of Arkansas as well.”

The premiere will take place on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall at UCA. An educational presentation of selected scenes along with a composer’s talk by Laitman is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7, also at Reynolds. The second full performance will be at Reynolds at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9.

Tickets for the full performances are $20 for the general public, $10 for UCA faculty and staff, $5 for non-UCA students and free to UCA students with I.D. as part of the University