Band, opera, chamber ensembles perform Nov. 18-20


Marching band music with a flag-waving floor show, operatic comedy and the intimate sounds of chamber music are all on tap at the University of Rhode Island for the weekend of November 18-20. All events will be held in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston, with tickets available 45 minutes before the start of each event. Admission is $10 general, $5 students, except for the Chamber Ensembles Concert, which is free.

The URI Ram Marching Band leads off on Friday at 8 p.m. with their annual “Pass-in-Review” concert, an indoor presentation of the fall season’s football half-time show. Directed by Dr. Brian Cardany, the band will perform sets including Latin/Swing (Malaguena, Pegasus and Cantina Band/Sing, Sing. Sing, an arrangement that combines the John Williams tune from the movie Star Wars, with the classic swing tune by Benny Goodman); Classical (Beethoven's Fifth, Night on Bald Mountain, and Firebird); and Pop/Rock (Lock You Up, Late in the Evening, September). The members of the band’s color guard will perform their flag routines from the concert hall floor.

URI’s Opera Workshop will present a full performance of Puccini’s short comic opera Gianni Schicchi and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. An encore performance with a slightly different cast will be presented as a matinee at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20.

Gianni Schicchi is the one-act comic relief in Puccini's trilogy, II Trittico. First performed in 1918, it satirizes the greed of a family whose wealthy patriarch Buoso Donati has just died, leaving everything to the local monks in his will. The family’s scheme to get around this by creating a new will depends on the help of a local businessman, Gianni Schicchi, who is not considered their social equal, despite his cleverness and success. Schicchi is disinclined to help these undeserving people with the fraud until begged by his daughter, who loves a young member of the Donati family. Based on a character from Dante’s Inferno, Schicchi earns his place as a fraudster in the Inferno by giving in to help the young lovers, and finding a clever way in the end to give everyone what they most deserve.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s short play Trial by Jury was the second collaboration between the famous pair and is their only comic opera without spoken dialogue. It satirizes the justice system through the trial of young Edwin, who has been taken to court by Angelina after his refusal to marry her. The story offers ample opportunity to skewer the biased judge and the jury with double standards, all of whom are swayed by the beautiful plaintiff. Poor Edwin is in love with another, but his proposed solution of marrying Angelina one day and his true love the next is rejected. Other possibilities are considered, but in the end the case is only solved when the Judge proposes to marry Angelina himself.

Rene de la Garza, voice faculty member and director of URI’s Opera program, and Mark Conley, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at URI, are directing, with accompanists Laura Hibbard and Marilyn Salvatore. The two casts feature Devon Morin of North Kingstown, James Malerich of Wakefield, and many other members of the URI Opera Workshop company.

The last concert will be on Sunday evening at 7 p.m, offering a wide variety of styles of chamber music by student ensembles. The free concert will feature the Clarinet Ensemble, coached by Kelli O'Connor, Trombone Ensemble, coached by Gabe Langfur, Guitar Ensemble, coached by John Dennewitz, several string ensembles, coached by Ann Danis, and the Oboe Band, coached by Jane Murray. The oboe band, for example, will be performing music by Gordon Jacob and Pergolesi, as well as two Gershwin tunes, It Ain't Neccessarily So and Summertime, featuring soprano Erin Maughan and arranged by Mark Snyder of the New York City-based ensemble Threeds.

The URI Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the Fine Arts Center, off Bills Road.

For more information contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431 or check the website,


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