News from the Aurora University community

Coming to campus: Comic operas and annual Christmas concert

Posted by on November 27, 2017

christmas-concertIt’s opera on stage this week in Perry Theatre, which will be a wonderful warm up for the Christmas concert in Crimi Auditorium later in December. The AU Opera Workshop — a class designed for students to study and perform opera scenes or (as is the case this year) complete operas — will present two, one-act operas: “The Telephone” by Gian Carlo Menotti and “Trial By Jury” by Gilbert and Sullivan.

“We chose these as companion pieces, very different but complimentary,” said Mark Plummer, associate professor of music and opera workshop instructor. “Both pieces are very fun and teach the students about two very different styles of opera, 19th century English operetta and 20th century American opera.”

The production involves 14 students who will gain experience singing, acting and dancing.

“We go beyond just studying about the art form,” said Plummer. “We provide the experience of performing in an opera and the opportunity for students to include an operatic role on their acting resume. It has been a lot of fun for the students to learn about the stylized performance style of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. The students have risen to the task marvelously and have really embraced the process.”

There will be three opportunities to attend the AU Opera Workshop: this Thursday at noon, and Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. To register, visit

Moving further into December, the Aurora University Music Department will present its annual Christmas concert on Sunday, December 10, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature the Aurora University Chorale, Chamber Choir and Flute Ensemble.

“This year’s concert will be a mixture of familiar tradition, new works or surprising twists on favorites, lullabies and joyful song, and just about everything in between,” said Lisa Fredenburgh, associate professor of music and director of choral activities.

“Because this season is often marked by togetherness, we will continue our tradition of audience caroling. It is a highlight for many audience members to join their voices to ours in one huge chorus.”

Student performers are equally enthusiastic about sharing their talents with the greater community. “Being in the choir and performing our Christmas concerts provides an opportunity for me to be introspective, to consider what a wonderful life I have as an AU student,” said junior English and music major Alyssa Gibbas. “Christmas music has the particular tendency to sneak its way into people’s hearts, capable of filling you with unspeakable emotion. It gives you the ability to leave your problems at the door and simply reflect on what the holiday season means to you.”

To register for the Aurora University Christmas Concert, visit