COMING TO FRIEND FEBRUARY 27th!
After the February 22 & 24 weekend run in Kimball Recital Hall in Lincoln, UNL Opera will be taking its production of THE TENDER LAND on the road. On Wednesday, February 27 UNL Opera will return to Friend, Nebraska for a performance at the historic Warren Opera House.
Aaron Copland’s quintessentially American Opera is a perfect match for the rural Nebraska venues the company will be visiting. Set on a mid-west farm during the Great Depression, the opera is a coming-of-age story about a traditional, humble, rural family suspicious of outsiders. When two itinerant drifters arrive seeking work on the Moss family farm, their daughter Laurie, about to graduate from high school, falls in love with one of them and is torn between her roots and her desire to explore the world. Composed in 1954, the opera remains strikingly relevant today.
The Friend performance is scheduled for 9:00am to accommodate the students from Friend Public Schools who will be in attendance. However, the general public is also invited and encouraged to attend. It is a remarkable opportunity for the cast to perform in the marvelous historic Warren Opera house–truly one of Nebraska’s hidden treasures. Director of UNL Opera, William Shomos is convinced that should the Friend Historical Society’s fundraising effort be successful in restoring the theatre, the city of Friend promises to become a magnet for performing arts festivals for the entire state of Nebraska and beyond.
Although it is called an “Opera House”, remarkably only one previous opera has ever been performed during the Warren’s 132-year history, and that occurred only very recently. In 2016, UNL Opera presented the very first opera ever to take place in the Warren Opera House with its traveling production of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, featured in the recent NETV documentary Figaro, Figaro! UNL Opera’s tour exists thanks to the generosity of the James C. and Rhonda Seacrest Tour Nebraska Opera Fund, which is dedicated to supporting the production, promotion, travel and other expenses incurred for outreach opera events, both artistic and educational, across Nebraska, especially in rural venues.