UCA to host world premiere of opera

This November, UCA will host the world premiere of The Scarlet Letter, Lori Laitman‘s opera adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s literary masterpiece.

Laitman, an acclaimed American composer, has teamed up with award-winning American poet David Mason to create the opera, which was commissioned by UCA. The world premiere performances will take place on Nov. 6, 7 and 9 at UCA’s Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall.

Robert Holden, co-director of the UCA Opera Theater, developed the idea for the commission. “We are beginning a commissioning project for new operas based on classic American literature,” Holden said. “In The Scarlet Letter, Lori Laitman and David Mason have created something spectacular that should become part of standard operatic repertoire.”Hawthorne’s book was published in 1850 and is considered a milestone in American literature. The story takes place in seventeenth century Boston and revolves around Hester Prynne, who is convicted of adultery and forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” on her chest as a sign of her sin.

The opera will be conducted by Israel Getzov, an assistant professor of music at UCA and conductor of the Conway Symphony Orchestra. The principal roles will be sung by UCA faculty members, including Christine Donahue, Wolfgang Oeste, Robert Holden and Martha Antolik.

Tickets for the performances will be available starting October 1 at the UCA Ticket Central Box Office. Call 450-3265 or visit www.uca.edu/tickets.