BVU offers “An Evening of Short Operas” this week


Alyssa Donnelly, Assistant Arts & Life Editor

The Buena Vista University theatre and music programs have joined forces to offer a rare opportunity on campus—a chance to see live opera. Starting tonight, Feb. 8, and running through Saturday, Feb. 11, BVU will offer “An Evening of Short Operas.” The performances begin at 7:30 p.m. each night in Anderson Auditorium.

Each evening’s performance will feature two operas performed by BVU students, “The Medium” and “Gianni Schicchi.” The first is a “darkly mysterious” opera and the second, an operatic comedy. Both will be performed in English.

The effort to bring opera to the BVU stage has been led by Dr. Merrin Guice-Mendel, Assistant Professor of Vocal Music, and Professor David Walker, Assistant Professor of Theatre.

The opera preparation has created a new learning experience for the students and faculty involved.

Senior Matt Schulz, who is both directing one of the operas and performing in them, says he has been learning a lot along the opera journey that could help him in his future.

“It’s a completely new experience,” Schulz said. “We have quite a few vocal performance majors who may, in the near future, be getting higher degrees and performing professionally.”

With opera being new to the performance slate for BVU, the performers are hoping to get the BVU and local communities introduced to a new experience as well.

“It is also important for our students, BVU community, and the greater Storm Lake community to go to this and be exposed to such an experience,” Schulz said.

Schulz said the performers hope to educate the audience in the importance of these kinds of cultural experience and hopes those who attend will appreciate the hard work the performers have put in. Schulz noted that preparing for the operas was challenging, especially for him, who was both directing and singing.

“I love how it is such a challenge, both in directing and singing. And with directing, it possesses a challenge, because there is constant music. So, not only are you constricted by the writing and lyric demand, but also certain music demands that dictate how you stage a scene,” Schulz said.

Schulz and all of the student performers encourage members of the BVU and Storm Lake community to come enjoy a night full of drama, love and powerful music with them.

“I would encourage all students to come with an open mind, and be willing to go on this journey with us,” he said.

Tickets can be reserved for any of the performances February 8-11 online at:

Photo and photo story by Yesenia Tarin