Stockton Opera and the Conservatory
The past week's production of Pagliacci and Gianni Schicchi by Stockton Opera, presented in Faye Spanos Concert Hall, had a distinct Pacific flavor.
As has been customary in the past several years, faculty member James Haffner was the producing stage director of the opera, creating a stunning production that delighted and impressed the audience. Tenor Daniel Ebbers, also one of our faculty members, sang beautifully in both operas, and in Pagliacci shared the stage with his wife, soprano Jessica Siena, who has often performed at Pacific, and whose portrait of Nedda in Pagliacci was vocally and dramatically stunning. In Gianni Schicchi, the audience had a chance to hear Conservatory alumnus and local favorite, tenor Marco Stefani, fresh from receiving a Master of Music degree from the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, singing the role of Rinuccio. The orchestra for the production included Conservatory faculty members Jennie Blomster, Ruth Brittin, and Mathew Kreicj, as well as recent alumna Erin Finkelstein and current student Jia-Mo Chen. Margaret Perry, also from our faculty, was the rehearsal pianist for the production.
Even more significant for the Conservatory, though, was the participation of so many of our current students both on the stage and behind the scenes. Yelena Dyachek, Hannah Ludwig, David Chavez, Andrew Dwan, and Christopher Mackey sang in the chorus; Stefan Miller (assistant director), Donovan Ott-Bales (assistant stage manager), Ted Pickell (assistant stage manager), and Christopher Slaughter (stage manager) worked to make the production a success. In addition, Andrew Dwan, Christopher Mackey, Stefan Miller, and Johann Schram Reed, sang supporting roles. Christopher Slaughter had great fun appearing in a non-speaking part as the Buoso Donati in Gianni Schicchi.
We treasure the partnership with Stockton Opera that allows so many of our students to experience the world of professional opera, and to enhance the experiential learning that is a hallmark of a Pacific education.