News Archive

Nazareth’s Opera Workshop to present a love story for the ages

Published January 18, 2018

The Nazareth College Department of Music's Opera Workshop is pleased to present a full production of Clara, My Love, an art song musical by Heather Nicole Winter, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 2 and Saturday, February 3 in the Callahan Theater, located in the Nazareth College Arts Center at 4245 East Avenue, Rochester, 14618. This production is free and open to the public.

Under the stage direction of Dr. Katie Hannigan, Assistant Professor of Voice in the Nazareth College Music department, and Music direction of lecturer Dr. Kevin Nitsch, Clara, My Love is a two-act art song musical that tells the true story of Clara and Robert Schumann—an epic tale of love, loss, and the power of art and music to transcend.

The Story
Despite her father's wishes, young concert pianist Clara Wieck falls for composer Robert Schumann in early nineteenth century Germany. Knowing that her father would not approve, they meet in secret and exchange letters for several years. When her father goes to great lengths to keep them apart, the young couple must turn to the court for permission to be wed without her father's blessing—which was quite scandalous for the time! While their happiness is cut short by Robert's declining mental health, Clara, My Love is a true example of a love that would never fade and a true epoch depiction of Clara's courage, bravery, and quintessential strength. This production is intriguing in that it is an interdisciplinary work where research, technology, art, and music performance coalesce.

The Players
Nazareth College music students bring the art song musical to life. The double-cast production features Hadley Strelau and Rachel Hall (Clara Schumann) Ben Reisinger (Robert Schumann) Toby Young (Friedrich Wieck) Michael Getty ( Johannes Brahms) Kaitlyn Santiago ( Eugenie Schumann) Jonae Harris and Sabrina Curtis (Marie Schumann) Brittney Burgess and Jessica Tripi ( Mariane Bargiel) Yingxi Liu and Emily Kielbasinski ( Nanny) Lily Hahn and Natalie Tyce ( Berta) Tessa Hildreth, Yu Miao and Carolyn Goodfellow (Women One, Two and Three) and Haley Brunstad, Tayler Kochen, Kiersten Hecht featured as Chorus.

The Nazareth College Symphony Orchestra (Nancy Strelau, conductor; Dr. Kevin Nitsch, piano) will accompany the performance: Violin Andrea Peters, concertmistress, Sam Cooperman, Alicja Cygan, Ziyou Li, Tyler Nadrich, Flute: Katherine Saslawsky, Clarinet: Elyssa Utz, Horn: Emma Clive, Viola: Jessica Kromer and Sara Truncali, Cello: Katrya Cichanowicz and Double Bass: Emma Pogge

Nazareth College's production of Clara, My Love will be presented with sculpture and visual design by Olivia Kim. Casey Schmitt will act as Stage Manager, and Jennifer Horton will serve as lighting director.

The Nazareth College Opera Workshop is a program devoted to the performance of opera, operetta, and music theatre. Cast members are chosen by audition and present a fully staged performance. In November 2005, the workshop presented the New York State premiere of Felice by Benton Hess. Other productions have included Opera Scenes (consisting of scenes from 13 different operas), Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Gilbert & Sullivan's Trial by Jury, Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, Cavalli's La Calisto, and Sunday Excursion by Rochester's own Alec Wilder. Last season, a Full Production of Gian Carlo Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief was performed twice in Callahan Theater, followed by a third performance at the prestigious Lyric Theatre in downtown Rochester. The third performance was as a double bill of Menotti's The Telephone with The Old Maid and the Thief in collaboration with professional singers at Rochester Lyric Opera. This project was one of several ongoing collaborations that exemplify Nazareth's continued partnership with Rochester Lyric Opera.

For More Information

Michelle Shippers, 585-389-2093,

Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,200 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.