NDNU’s Music and Vocal Arts Department Celebrates the Season With “Suor Angelica” & “Christmas in the Chapel,” Dec. 5, 6

A stunning Christmas double-bill will ring in the season as NDNU’s Department of Music and Vocal Arts presents Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” and NDNU’s “Christmas in the Chapel,” Dec. 5, and 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cunningham Memorial Chapel.

The Christmas concert showcases Donald Pippin’s Pocket Opera at Notre Dame (“Pippin’s POND”), NDNU’s Concert Choir, and Camerata chamber ensembles. “It is an exceptional showcase for our students, and a wonderful celebration of Christmas in the University’s beautiful chapel,” said Debra Lambert, NDNU’s Chair of the Department of Music and Vocal Arts.

“Suor Angelica” will be performed in the original Italian with English super-titles. The one-act opera begins in a convent near Siena, Italy in the 17th century. Angelica was sent to the convent seven years previously by her wealthy family, after she disgraced them by giving birth to an illegitimate child. Sister Angelica’s cruel aunt, the Princess, visits the convent with news that Angelica’s sister plans to marry, and insists that Angelica renounce her inheritance and sever all connections with her past to make this match appealing to the young man’s family. When Sister Angelica learns from her aunt that her son has died, her faith is truly tested.

“It’s an uplifting story of religious redemption,” said Lambert. “It’s one of Puccini’s most insightful operas.”

Henry Mollicone will conduct Donald Pippin’s Pocket Philharmonic. The performances are directed by Greg Fritsch, with lighting design by Matthew M. Royce. NDNU’s vocal and instrumental chamber ensemble, “Camerata,” and “Chanteurs,” will also perform music of the season under the direction of Marcelle Dronkers and Michael Schmitz; Michael Najar, directs the Chanteurs.

The performers on both evenings include vocalists and instrumentalists from freshman through graduate classes, majoring in Music and Musical Theatre. The cast includes the following, Megan Conroy (12/5) and Kelly Jean Hammond (12/6) as Sister Angelica, Felicity McCollum as La Principessa (the Princess), Bailey Batti as the Abbess, Vanessa Bautista as the Mistress of the Novices, Harmony Murphy as the Monitor, Alexis Flores as Sister Genoveva, Claire Karoly as Sister Osmina, Tatiana Bookbinder as Sister Dolcina, Kristopher Hauck as Alms-Collector #1, Daniel Norberg as Alms-Collector #2, Darrick Priest as Alms-Collector #3, Claire Karoly as the Nursing Sister, Shannon Kilpatrick as the Novice, and Tatiana Bookbinder, Shannon Kilpatrick, and Alanna Pinell as the Lay Sisters.

Tickets cost $20, $10 students and seniors. For more information, contact NDNU’s Department of Music and Vocal Arts Box Office at (650) 508-3729 or concerts@ndnu.edu.