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University Opera Theatre presents Britten's "Albert Herring," 11/15-18

October 19, 2018

University Opera Theatre's production of Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring runs from Thursday, November 15 through Saturday, November 17 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 18 at 1:30 pm at Ted Mann Concert Hall (West Bank campus).

Our fall semester production of Benjamin Britten’s delightfully wicked comic opera, Albert Herring, is co-directed by two of the Twin Cities' most prominent performers (and U of M alumnae), Christina Baldwin and Jennifer Baldwin Peden. 

In 1947, on the heels of his widely acclaimed serious opera, The Rape of Lucretia, Benjamin Britten decided to abruptly pivot and aim for an even more challenging project by writing his first comedy. The source material for Albert Herring was Guy de Maupassant’s novella Le Rosier de Madame Husson and Britten’s librettist, Eric Crozier, cleverly suggested adapting the storyline and location to a place resembling Suffolk, Britten’s childhood home. 

Whether your hometown is in the Midwest, the Far East, or in Britten’s comic village—every town tends to share this universal and quirky cast of characters. There is a pact that is unwittingly signed when you live in a small community. It is an agreement to be a player in the routines and games of the dominant members and to observe the pageants, hazings, and ceremonies with the greatest respect (and private disdain). Our Albert Herring is full of nostalgia for a condition we have all endured—biding our time with the rules and mores of our clan until we have the strength or stupidity to rebel. But it’s Britten’s loving attention to musically illuminating the absurd as well as the deeply heartfelt feelings of these odd souls that set the stage for the best comedic payoffs.

Libretto by Eric Crozier. Christina Baldwin and Jennifer Baldwin Peden, directors. Mark Russell Smith, conductor. Sung in English. Pre-opera lobby discussion begins 45 minutes before each performance.

Tickets (General Admission): $20 Advance Adults; $25 Week of Adults; $5 U of M Students and Children; $15 for U of M Faculty, alumni, retirees, and staff. opera.umn.edu or 612-624-2345