VCU Opera presents “A Date With Destiny” this weekend free to the public

a-date-with-destinyVCU Opera is presenting their annual spring show “A Date With Destiny” this weekend Nov. 18 and 19 at the W. E. Singleton Center.

The show features a compilation of scenes from different operas, time periods and regions of the world. Scenes included are from famous pieces like “The Magic Flute,” “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Don Pasquale,” “Porgy and Bess,” “Tartuffe,” “The Marriage of Figaro” and “La Forza del Destino.”

Director and VCU Music Department associate professor Melanie Day said students are selected first by herself and stage director and opera professor Kenneth Wood. They then pick and assign scenes that best fit each student’s voice and character.

Stage manager and VCU Music Department junior Tiun Duong, playing Susanna in a scene from “The Marriage of Figaro,” said that everyone, especially students, should be exposed to opera.

While opera performances can be expensive, Duong said that VCU Opera’s free shows make it accessible to students. According to Duong, turnout for the fall and spring shows are good and last year’s performance played a full house in the 500-seat theater.  

Most of the performances are sung in English, though a few of the pieces are performed in other tongues.  fifth year music student Devonte Saunders plays Don Alvaro in a scene from “La Forza del Destino.”

“It is another layer of preparation that has to be put on the practice,” Saunders said. “You have to know exactly what you’re saying when you’re saying it. You have to know what he is saying and have true reflections of what is happening in the moment.”

The scenes are short, ranging from seven to nine minutes each.

“I think it’s important to know that opera is for everybody,” Saunders said. “The stories that we tell are for everyone and even though they are set in different time periods, they always can be applied to today.”

Performances run Friday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 19 at 4 p.m. Find more information at

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