Sophisticated ‘Lucretia’ challenges NAU Opera performers

NAU Opera will perform Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in Ashurst Auditorium.

“This is a good piece for young singers and confronts them with a basic conflict in life. They learn to think and to become aware,” said Nando Schellen, NAU Opera director. “I’m very impressed with the singers’ maturity.”

The opera will be directed by Schellen and conducted by Nicholas Ross, director of orchestras. NAU alumnus Chris Engbretson will play the piano version of the opera, wh ich was originally composed for accompaniment by a chamber orchestra.

The Rape of Lucretia takes place in ancient Rome during wartime. Among the generals’ wives, only Lucretia has been faithful to her husband. The Etruscan prince Tarquinius is attracted to Lucretia, visits her while her husband is absent and rapes her. Traumatized by the event Lucretia commits suicide.

Schellen has double-cast the roles.

He will direct NAU students Maria Lopez and Rachael Hirsch as Lucretia, Roland Mills and Ben Perkins as the male chorus, Amy Warters and Staci Dickens as female chorus, Quentin Lee and Jared Levin as Collatinus and David Bracamonte and Toby Kidd as Tarquinius. The roles of Lucia and Bianca, two servants of Lucretia, are performed by Erin Entringer and Casey Kraft as Lucia and Kia Crotinger and Michelle Trinidad as Bianca.

The opera will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 1. There will be a lecture in Ashurst Auditorium 45 minutes before each performance. Tickets are $10 for faculty and students, $13.50 for seniors and $15 for adults. For tickets call (928) 523-5661.