University Orchestra to play operatic repertoire

By Sarah McMillin, Staff Writer 

The University Orchestra will be performing their first full concert of the year on Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Stretansky Concert Hall.

The orchestra, conducted by Gregory Grabowski, associate professor of music, will perform works from various operas. Corrine Byrne, associate professor of music, will also accompany the orchestra as a soprano.

In the first half of the concert, the orchestra will per- form “Danse Bacchanale” from “Samson and Delilah” by Camile Saint-Saens.

“It’s really exciting,” Grabowski said. “This is one of those [pieces] that I knew was going to challenge my group technically, but they were going to have a really good time doing it.”

The three arias that will be performed next by both the orchestra and Byrne are “Ah, Je veux vivre” from “Romeo et Juiliette” by Charles Gounod, “O mio babbino caro” from “Gianni Schicchi” by Giacomo Puccini and “Spiel ich die Unschuld vom Lande” from “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss Jr.

Grabowski said he wanted to feature Byrne during this concert as it was the first orchestra concert of the year, as well as her first semester teaching music at Susquehanna.

Grabowski said, “It’s a really great opportunity for the members in the orchestra to be able to perform these pieces that give Byrne a chance to really shine and show off.”

From this, Grabowski came up with the theme of opera for the concert.

In the second half of the concert, the orchestra will per- form Georges Bizet’s “Carmen Suite No. 1 and 2.”

The numbers will be per- formed in the order of the op- era and as the work goes on, there will be a screen with subtitles providing the narrative of the opera.

For the last piece of the concert, the “Finale” from “Carmen,” Grabowski rearranged the music to completely tell the story of the opera and its final tragedy.

Grabowski said he thought a lot about where the story was going and how best to end the concert while rearranging the ending piece.

For many members of the orchestra, this is their first time performing in a collegiate-level orchestra.

However, Grabowski said that rather than being scared, students are stepping up to the challenge.

“It really bodes well for the next couple [of] years,” Grabowski added.

“This is going to be a fun concert,” Grabowski said. “I’m really excited about the music that were doing.”

“There isn’t a piece that is in this concert that I dislike,” Grabowski said. “Especially with the new president who has been so supportive of us, this is a really exciting time for all of us right now.”

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