UNK’s Festival of American Song and Opera features Stephanie Tingler, Martha Thomas

Pianist Martha Thomas, front, and soprano Stephanie Tingler will perform 7:30 p.m. Friday (April 5) during the Festival of American Song and Opera in UNK’s Fine Arts Recital Hall. (Courtesy photo)
Pianist Martha Thomas, front, and soprano Stephanie Tingler will perform 7:30 p.m. Friday (April 5) during the Festival of American Song and Opera in UNK’s Fine Arts Recital Hall. (Courtesy photo)

UNK Communications

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney is celebrating American music during a two-day event that begins with a guest recital and ends with an opera double bill.

UNK’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance is hosting the Festival of American Song and Opera on Friday and Saturday (April 5-6) in the Fine Arts Building on campus. The event, supported by a grant from the UNK Faculty Senate Artists and Lecturers Committee, is free and open to the public.

The festival opens 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Fine Arts Recital Hall with a performance by soprano Stephanie Tingler and pianist Martha Thomas, faculty members in the University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

“They both have significant experience touring not only the country, but around the world, as well,” said event organizer and UNK vocal music professor Anne Foradori, who called the women “champions of American music.”

Tingler and Thomas will present “Made in America,” a recital showcasing texts and music by American composers, poets and lyricists. Their performance features a variety of musical styles and genres, including Broadway, art and folk songs and spirituals.

Tingler has appeared in opera and musical theater, apprenticing with Lyric Opera Cleveland, performing with numerous opera companies and presenting arias with the Athens Symphony Orchestra and Orquestra Sinfonica de Porto Alegre. An avid chamber music performer and sought-after concert artist, Tingler was selected to participate in the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music Art Song Festival and she’s made numerous recital tours across the country.

Praised for the “lyrical beauty of her playing,” Thomas has performed on five continents and played concerts at more than 60 college and university campuses. She’s featured on several recordings, including two solo CDs.

Tingler and Thomas have presented “Made in America” in Kenya, Brazil and throughout the U.S.

The University of Georgia faculty will lead master classes in collaborative piano and voice beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday. That session also includes papers and presentations on American song and opera from UNK faculty and students.

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, UNK Opera workshop will present two one-act operas from American composers, featuring UNK faculty and students.

The evening of opera, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall, includes Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Telephone” and John Duke’s “Captain Lovelock.”

Foradori described both operas as lighthearted works that are humorous and appropriate for the whole family.

“They would be a fun introduction to opera for attendees,” she said.

Following the operas, there will be a question-and-answer session with the performers.

The festival will be preceded by a matinee opera performance and workshop for high school students beginning at 1 p.m. Friday.

For more information, contact Foradori at 308-865-8610 or foradoria@unk.edu.

An “it’s complicated” love story of a man, a woman and her telephone.
Stage director – Anne Foradori, UNK vocal music professor
Pianist/coach – Ruth Moore of Hastings
Lucy – Darien Myers, UNK student from North Platte
Ben – Tyler Koepp, guest artist from Grand Island

An older widow with marriage on her mind is swept off her feet by the charming “Captain Lovelock.” What begins as a practical joke planned by her daughters, her maid and the matchmaker ends with a hilarious lesson learned.
Stage director – Janice Fronczak, UNK theater professor
Pianist/coach – Jayoung Hong, UNK piano instructor
Terentia – Sharon O’Connell Campbell, UNK associate music professor
Pernille – Minori Yamauchi, UNK student from Japan
Kirsten – Terran Homburg, UNK student from Marian, Kansas
Leonora – Grace Lueders, UNK student from Blair
Laurentia – Bethany Tebbe, UNK student from David City
Scenic/lighting designer – Matthew Benes, UNK student from Lincoln
Costume designer/choreographer – Ronald Altman, UNK theater lecturer and costume coordinator