The Maryland Opera Studio (MOS) at the University of Maryland (UMD) School of Music has received a major grant from the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music to support its spring production of "Regina," a 1948 opera by Marc Blitzstein.
Established after the death of German-born composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950), the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music seeks to preserve and perpetuate the legacies of Weill, actress-singer – and Weill's wife – Lotte Lenya, and American composer Marc Blitzstein. The MOS is one of only 14 professional, college and university performing institutions to receive this prestigious performance grant, which is awarded annually.
The opera will bring together a cross-disciplinary team of students from the UMD School of Music and School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, including singers, jazz musicians and theatre design majors. From lighting and set design to costume creation and choreography, students involved in "Regina" will gain hands-on experience in every element of opera production and performance.
"We are proud that the talent and resources of the MOS are recognized in this grant from the Weill Foundation, and we are very grateful for the Foundation’s support," said Bonnie Thornton Dill, dean for the College of Arts and Humanities.
Based on the play "The Little Foxes" by Lillian Hellman, "Regina" tells the story of a Southern family destroyed by its own vices, and explores the social complexities of diversity, culture and human relationships. At the heart of this story is a family’s focus on gaining even greater wealth and power regardless of the moral implication. On April 10, the UMD School of Music will explore these topics in a discussion titled, "Regina: Is It All Black and White?" Part of the MOS's "Opera Resonates!" series, the dialogue will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (The Clarice).
"'Regina' is a marvelous, underexposed piece, and we are glad to offer assistance in bringing Blitzstein’s work of art to the stage at the University of Maryland," said Brady Sansone, Director of Programs and Business Affairs at the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music.
Established nearly 30 years ago, the MOS is highly regarded for its dedicated support of contemporary American opera. The studio has commissioned and produced three full-length operas, and annually performs a reading of a new work, in addition to the many productions of standard repertoire.
"We are thrilled and proud that the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music has recognized MOS with this grant," said MOS Director Craig Kier, who conducted a performance of Weill's "Lost in the Stars" at the 2012 Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, NY. "With a wonderful group of students and faculty from the School of Music and School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, as well as the team at The Clarice, 'Regina' will shine as one of our best productions yet."
"Regina" will run from April 8-16, 2016, at The Clarice's Kay Theatre. To learn more, visit: http://go.umd.edu/ReginaMOS
March 9, 2016