Arts & Culture

Nazareth Opera Workshop’s “The Medium” a haunting and spiritual journey

ROCHESTER, NY (01/14/2019) Nazareth College Department of Music’s Opera Workshop is presenting a full production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium, a haunting and spiritual journey of Menotti’s own encounter with a medium during dark and untrustworthy times. The performances will be held on Friday, January 25 and Saturday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Callahan Theater, located in Nazareth College Arts Center at 4245 East Avenue, Rochester, 14618. Tickets are free, no advance reservations required. For an added bit of fun, attendees can enter to win a free tarot card reading with Readings by Nico (enter to win will take place at event).

The Medium is directed by guest artist Emily Cuk, who holds a degree in opera performance from Bard College and a master’s from the Eastman School of Music. The creative team also includes Dr. Kevin Nitsch, music direction (lecturer in music at Nazareth College); Rachel Hall, assistant director/graduate assistant (Nazareth College); and Dr. Katie Hannigan, opera workshop leadership/support (coordinator of vocal studies at Nazareth College).

“They’re learning how to problem solve, how to think on their feet, and how to continue to grow as a performer,” said Dr. Hannigan. “It’s about the experience and about building relationships that will help them on their professional path. That helps a lot with continuing to grow as an individual towards what you want to do and your life’s work.”

Split into two acts, Menotti’s The Medium is equally as dark and twisting as it is comedic. An underlying connection to World War II and the trauma it caused looms in the background of the story. A manipulative and alcoholic medium, Baba, works together with her daughter Monica and a gypsy mute boy named Toby to conduct séances for her clients, who believe they are talking to those they’ve lost. Overlapping themes of innocence/crime and truth/deception are prevalent in this story, which ultimately leads the characters down the path to destruction.

Sophomore Alexis Tuccio (music education) plays the role of Toby, who is speechless. “Toby’s character is silent, yet, has so many complex emotions he’s trying to express,” said Tuccio. “Doing this without the use of voice is an interesting challenge. It’s wonderful to explore my acting skills and see how I can develop the character without ever actually opening my mouth.”

Nazareth College has a wide array of music majors involved in this production including music education, music therapy, general music, vocal performance, master’s of music in performance and pedagogy, and many more. Cast: Rachel Hall and Hongyu Han (Baba), Jessica Tripi and Katelyn Santiago (Monica), Charlotte Stevens and Alexis Tuccio (Toby), Joel Touranjoe and Toby Young (Mr. Gobineau), Brandon Parks (Mr. Gobineau cover), Yingxi Liu and Emily Kielbasinski (Mrs. Gobineau), Haley Brunstad (Mrs. Gobineau cover), Tessa Hildreth and Mckenzie Rybka (Mrs. Nolan), and Morgan Beaton (Mrs. Nolan cover).

Tickets are free for this event. No advanced reservations are required. Visit the event page or Facebook page for more information, or to enter a raffle for a chance to win a tarot card reading with Readings by Nico.

Since 1967, the NAZARETH COLLEGE ARTS CENTER has served as a venue and educational resource for students, educators, artists, and audiences of all ages to create, study, and experience the visual and performing arts. The Arts Center’s subscription series and K-12 school performance series provide area residents of all ages with opportunities to experience world-class dance, multicultural entertainment, family programming, music, theatre, and special events. The Departments of Art, Music, and Theatre and Dance present exceptional productions, recitals, and exhibitions, which are open to the public, while preparing students for successful careers in arts-related fields.

The Nazareth College Arts Center is the performance home of the Rochester City Ballet and world-renowned Garth Fagan Dance; and is home to the Bach Children’s Chorus. The Nazareth College Arts Center’s 2018-19 season is sponsored by The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation and M&T Bank.

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