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Arts & Entertainment WCU, Asheville Symphony musicians to present rarely performed opera

The Western Carolina University School of Music will present Domenico Cimarosa’s opera “The Secret Marriage,” a rarely performed masterpiece that will be sung in English, on Friday, Jan. 24.

Funded in part by the university’s Artist-in-Residence Program, the opera will be produced as a semi-staged version with a small chamber ensemble accompaniment. It will feature WCU student vocalists Robert Helma, Brandi Moon, Austin McDowell, Corinne Minor, Bekka Mayen and Cameron Someliana performing with WCU student instrumentalists and string players from the Asheville Symphony Orchestra.

The Artist-in-Residence Program is a unique partnership between the School of Music and the Asheville Symphony, providing educational opportunities for WCU students and performance opportunities for orchestra musicians.

Cimarosa’s “The Secret Marriage” has been recognized as a masterpiece from its very first performance in 1792 when King Leopold enjoyed the premiere so much that he gave cast members a lavish dinner and had them perform it all over again, performance organizers said.

In the comic opera, the young couple Carolina and Paulino have fallen in love and secretly married. But Carolina’s father, a wealthy merchant, has promised her to Count Robinson in a scheme to raise the family’s social standing. Additional complications ensue from Carolina’s aunt, who also loves Paulino.

The performance at WCU begins at 7:30 p.m. in the black box theatre of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. For more information, call the School of Music at 828-227-7242. Admission is free.

A second performance will be held at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26. Tickets for that performance are $10 for adults and $5 for children. For more information, call (828)456-6322.

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