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Opera Mainstage

2019 Opera Production: L'Orfeo

An opera experience for the whole family!

L’Orfeo is a work that is considered to be “the root of all opera”. Based on the Greek tale, Monteverdi’s 1607 opera tells the story of the legendary musician Orpheus and his descent to the Underworld to recover his beloved Euridice.

The opera is accompanied by a chamber orchestra comprised of musicians from the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra. 

Performance Dates:

Wednesday, January 16 at 7:30 pm
Thursday, January 17 at 7:30 pm
Friday, January 18 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, January 19 at 7:30 pm

All performances are in Pierce Chapel

Meet L'Orfeo's Directors

Sarah Edgar 

Edgar specializes in stage direction and choreography for baroque opera. She began her professional career as a dancer with The New York Baroque Dance Company under Catherine Turocy, and since then she has voraciously studied and experimented with the stage conventions of the period. She is now an associate director of The New York Baroque Dance Company and the stage director/choreographer at Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago, where she recently directed the modern premiere of Marin Marais’ Ariane et Bachus.

Sarah has also lived in Köln, Germany, and she visited all the museums, castles, and gardens in Europe that she could manage while still dancing in operas, creating new works with her group The Punk’s Delight, and receiving an MA in Tanzwissenschaft (dance studies) from the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln.

She is also frequently asked to give master classes in baroque dance and to direct/choreograph operas at Wheaton College and DePaul University.

700x467 Kedrick Armstrong

Armstrong currently serves as Assistant Music Director for the Wheaton College Opera, along with continuing in the Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion Conducting Fellowship. As a conductor, he strives to take his deep passion for music and combine spiritual sensibility with historical inquiry to create an avenue for musical expression and connection between ensemble and audience.

Armstrong has maintained a great relationship with his alma mater, Wheaton College, serving as co-music director and conductor for the theater department’s production of Fiddler on the Roof in November 2016. Armstrong was a part of the student cabinet for the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra from 2014 – 2016, first as Vice President, then as President. While serving as president of the ensemble, Armstrong worked alongside school administration to help coordinate the orchestra’s Spring Tour 2016 to Southern California. He was also selected as Honors Conductor for the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra, which included conducting alongside the music director on the tour. As an advocate of 21st music, Armstrong has worked with composer Shawn Okpebholo on several pieces, including the premiere of Human Moments (2016), a song set for amplified large chamber ensemble and multimedia. Armstrong has also premiered over 20 new student pieces for the Wheaton College Composition Department and led orchestral reading/recording sessions.

Armstrong graduated from Wheaton College with a Bachelor of Music in Music History and Literature, where his mentors were Jonathan Saylor and Johann Buis, and was named the 2015 Presser Scholar. As a conductor, Armstrong has been mentored by Daniel Sommerville, John Trotter, John Nelson, Mei-Ann Chen, and Cliff Colnot.

700x467 Meriem Bahri

Bahri is a French and Tunisian costume designer praised for her 'gorgeous and evocative", "spectacular ", and "sumptuous array of period-perfect" costumes (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, respectively). After completing a PhD in science (2010, Université de Lille), she turned definitely to her great passion for costumes when she moved to Chicago. She collaborates regularly with groups specializing in early music like the Newberry Consort, Haymarket Opera Company and Boston Early Music Festival. She has also brought her designing skills to the Beethoven Festival, the Laboratory School, Wheaton College, Elements Contemporary Ballet, Balam Dance Theater, International Voices Project, the Joffrey Academy of Dance, Ensemble Dal Niente, Nordic Baroque Dancers, and Opera Lafayette.

Meriem Bahri is also an illustrator, providing unique, custom-made drawings under the name of WERIEM.

Lyddan profile

Lyddan has worked on many productions throughout Chicago including productions for Haymarket Opera Company, Silk Road Rising, Roosevelt University’s Opera Program, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago Dramatists, Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook, Lookingglass Theatre, Steppenwolf, the Goodman, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Adventure Stage Chicago, and the Cherub program at Northwestern University. She received her MFA in lighting and scenic design from Northwestern University. Lindsey is grateful to her husband, Bill, for his support in all her endeavors.

Opera, L'Orfeo
Purchase Tickets for L'Orfeo

There will be four performances in Pierce Chapel:
Wednesday, January 16, 7:30 P.M.
Thursday, January 17, 7:30 P.M.
Friday, January 18, 7:30 P.M.
Saturday, January 19, 7:30 P.M.

Tickets are $10 a person and can be purchased online or by calling the ticket office at 630.752.5010

Opera Mainstage Program Information

Opera Mainstage is a meticulous year-long course that provides primary attention to the careful musical, vocal, and dramatic learning of a given role as students participate in the production of a classic operative masterpiece. This program at strives to prepare students for further pre-professional study in opera.

Fall Semester focuses on preparation and rehearsals of a full-length operatic production with four public performances.

Spring Semester provides training in acting, movement, dance, stage combat, audition techniques, scene study and an informal performance.

Noye's Fludde, 2016

Excerpt from Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde | Opera Mainstage from Wheaton College on Vimeo.

Lyric Opera Young Artist Will Liverman '10 on the Value of Wheaton

  • 2018 – Die Fledermaus
  • 2017 – Magic Flute
  • 2016 – Noye’s Fludde
  • 2015 – Dido and Aeneas
  • 2014 – The Tender Land
  • 2013 – Pirates of Penzance

The Conservatory's opera faculty are accomplished professionals who provide rigorous instruction to educate and prepare students to proceed into today's competitive vocal world. All of the professors listed under "Voice" in  will take part in training students in opera.

Conservatory graduates have won prizes and/or were finalists in competitions through the following programs:

  • Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition
  • Bel Canto Opera Foundation
  • Lyric Opera Chicago - Ryan Opera Center
  • Glimmerglass Festival Young Artist Program
  • Florida Grand Opera Young Artist Program
  • Santa Fe Opera
  • Wolf Trap Opera
  • Richard Tucker Music Foundation
  • Opera Index Award
  • Stella Maris International Vocal Competition

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