The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance Opera Theatre presents George Frideric Handel’s Rodelinda, March 23–25, 7:30 p.m.; and March 26, 2:30 p.m. Conservatory Professor Alison DeSimone will give a pre-opera talk 30 minutes before each performance.
This year’s opera is directed by Joseph DeSota and guest conducted by Cara Chowning. Fenlon Lamb is the Conservatory’s Director of Opera. Artist in residency Estelí Gomez worked with students during her residency.
“Handel’s Rodelinda is a story of the quest for political power and how far one will go to reach the top,” DeSota said. “The characters play a political game of chess in which some stay true to their morals and other do not.”
The production is set in 1930s Italy during the rise of the Fascist regime. In 1922 Mussolini and 30,000 Blackshirts of the National Fascist Party stormed Rome and overthrew the prime minister. Thus began a 21-year struggle between the Fascist party and the Italian people until the regime was finally removed.
“Political struggle is an ever-current issue throughout countries across the world,” DeSota said. “Some leaders rule for the sake of power and others for the good of the people. One can always hope the later will prevail.”
The opera will be in White Recital Hall, James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo. Tickets are $12 for the general public and free for UMKC faculty, staff and all students with a UMKC or valid student ID. Tickets can be purchased online.