July 16, 2007
Susan Beasy Latto, Director, UMD Public Relations 218 726-8830 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Bowman, Dean, UMD School of Fine Arts 218 726-7261, 218 726-7033 email@example.com
University of Minnesota Duluth Produces the Largest International Opera Festival in the United States
Over 150 Young Adult Professionals from Around the World Perform Opera in Duluth
Language and Cultural Differences Meld to Friendship and Respect
Rehearsals at the Marshall Performing Arts Center on the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) campus are alive with music, dance and language--many languages actually-- as over 150 young adult professional performers from Turkey, Italy, France, Korea, China, Mexico and through out the United States converge to prepare to perform two classic operas in the picturesque city on the stunning shores of Lake Superior. They are part of the UMD Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival in Duluth, Minnesota. It is the largest International Opera Festival in the United States.
As a middle ground, music and stage directions are given in English-and then carefully-if sometimes unsystematically-some language is bartered, exchanged and converted among all the actors, singers and musicians--until everyone is clear.
Quickly and without effort, comradery and fellowship were built during an arduous rehearsal schedule--with racial and nationality issues forgotten. A genuine affection and respect is truly evident among these high spirited, passionate performers who have all paid their own way to come here to Duluth and perform in two quality, master-level opera productions. They rehearse daily-morning, afternoon and evening-and they count on each other-trusting partners from different parts of the world.
The two operas they are rehearsing are classic, spirited and challenging. The first is "Carmen" by Georges Bizet, performed in French (July 26-29). The second is "Lucia di Lammermoor" by Gaetano Donizetti, performed in Italian (August 2-5).
Coached and directed by talented performers and teachers from respected international music conservatories through out the world, these talented young professionals range in age from 21 to 30 years old. Their youth and enthusiasm and genuine love for their art is clearly demonstrating again that the world can laugh and strain and work together in peace and friendship. We invite you to come and experience a rehearsal-it will inspire and inform.
The dedicated mission of the UMD Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival is to offer a world-class international festival and to provide summer performance opportunities for these rising international professionals.
In its second year, the Arts Festival is the brainchild of Jack Bowman, Dean of the UMD School of Fine Arts. Maestro Bowman has conducted extensively in the United States and through out Europe. The Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival performs from June 27 through August 15 and includes theatre, opera, jazz, chamber music, and big band on the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) campus.