Shoals Symphony at UNA Presents ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ Oct. 11 #myUNA

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Shoals Symphony at UNA Presents ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ Oct. 11

Oct. 5, 2009

FLORENCE, Ala. – The Shoals Symphony at UNA is presenting Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” (“Rustic Chivalries”) at 2 p.m. Oct. 11 in Norton Auditorium. For ticket information, visit

Premiering in Rome on May 17, 1890, “Cavalleria Rusticana” is the most famous of Mascagni’s 16 operas and one of the most successful operas in history. It is considered one of the classic verismo operas. Verismo (meaning “realism”) was an Italian literary and operatic movement inspired by French naturalism.

Based on the Giovanni Verga short story of the same name, “Cavalleria Rusticana” takes place in one act, set in a Sicilian village on Easter morning. Turiddu, a young villager, returns from military service to learn that his fiancée, Lola, has married Alfio, a village teamster. Turiddu subsequently wins the affections of the young peasant girl Santuzza, who is carrying his child. Meanwhile, he has also begun an adulterous relationship with Lola. Alfio is informed by Santuzza of his wife’s unfaithful actions and challenges Turiddu to a duel to the death. Turiddu, though regretting his evil course, accepts the challenge.

The Shoals Symphony at UNA production of “Cavalleria Rusticana” will feature the UNA Chamber Choir, conducted by Dr. Ian Loeppky, and the Shoals Chamber Singers, conducted by Dr. Jerry D. Olson Jr. The opera will also feature the following vocalists:

Liz-Marie Tammo (Sweden), soprano. Tammo will play Santuzza, a peasant girl. Tammo, who studied singing and acting at the Nordiskt Musikkonservatorium in Stockholm, has performed a number of well-received recitals and concerts in Sweden, England and other parts of Europe.

David Holley (USA), tenor. Holley will play Turiddu, a soldier. Holley, who has performed with regional opera companies throughout North America, is the director of opera at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Evan Thomas Jones (USA), baritone. Jones will play Alfio, a village teamster. Jones, who received his doctorate in vocal performance and literature at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, has sung a wide variety of roles in opera. He serves on the UNA music faculty as director of vocal studies.

Rebecca Rogers (USA), soprano. Rogers will play Lola, wife of Alfio. Rogers, a native of Huntsville, has performed in several shows with Ars Nova and has sung for several years with the Huntsville Community Chorus. She is the 2008 winner of the Albert Lane Scholarship and also won third place in the 2008 NATS Regional Auditions.

Micki Lighthall (USA), alto. Lighthall will play Lucia, mother of Turiddu. Lighthall has performed with the Huntsville Opera Theatre and has been a member of the Huntsville Community Chorus since 1982. She has worked for 20 years as director of music and liturgy for Good Shepherd Catholic Church.