Pacific Opera production of "The Merry Wives of Windsor"

Pacific Opera Theatre's elaborate performance of "The Merry Wives of Windsor" took first place in National Opera Association Opera Production Competition

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A Singing Success: Opera Production Takes First in National Competition

Nov 25, 2013

The Conservatory of Music's Pacific Opera Theatre production of "The Merry Wives of Windsor" has been awarded first place in the 2013 Opera Production Competition sponsored by the National Opera Association. 

The Pacific production took the top spot in the Division I category. Judges awarded 18 prizes to institutions across the nation and to small professional companies in a total of six categories. They evaluated the overall quality of an opera production, submitted on DVD and produced between June 1, 2012, and June 15, 2013, to make their determination.

"We are all very proud of the National Opera Association award, which is a public recognition of the high quality of our opera program," said Conservatory School of Music Dean Giulio Ongaro. "Our voice faculty are attracting superior talent to Pacific, and our opera director, James Haffner, stages excellent performances every year. It is particularly fitting that this award is given during our 135th anniversary year, because it reminds everyone of the long and distinguished tradition of our Conservatory."  

Pacific's winning production of the three-act opera by Otto Nicolai based on Shakespeare's play "The Merry Wives of Windsor" was performed in March. The complex production required 28 singers, four crew members, 39 musicians and detailed Elizabethan-era sets and costumes.

In a March 11 review of the production in The Record, Haffner said: "Most undergraduate programs wouldn't touch it. It's a big show. I have kids who can do this... They're certainly ready. These are exciting times."

And ready the students were. In fact, the only non-student working during the performances was the conductor, Nicolas Waldvogel, the director of University Symphony Orchestra, Haffner said.

A Tradition of Music Excellence

"It is particularly fitting that this award is given during our 135th anniversary year, because it reminds everyone of the long and distinguished tradition of our Conservatory." -- Conservatory of Music Dean Giulio Ongaro

Pacific and other winners of the 2013 competition will be honored during the Association's national convention on January 11 in New York City.

Click here to read the review in The Record of the March performance.