2019 Hillman Opera a winner in NOA national competition

From the 2019 production of Massenet’s “Centrillion” in Marvel Theatre.

The National Opera Association announced that the State University of New York at Fredonia’s 2019 Hillman Opera production of “Centrillion” by Jules Massenet, with the libretto by Henri Cain, has earned First Place in Division III of the association’s annual opera production competition.

A total of 12 awards were presented to productions at colleges and universities nationwide. SUNY Fredonia was the only SUNY school to be named a winner in the competition. SUNY Purchase garnered a second place finish in Division II with its production of “Dido and Aeneas,” by Henry Purcell.

Faculty from the School of Music and Department of Theatre and Dance involved with Fredonia’s production included Producer Robert Strauss; Music Director/Conductor David Rudge; Stage Director Nestor Goldsmith and Choreographer Anthony Alterio.

“As an alum of the Fredonia School of Music and a current contingent faculty member, I’ve known the high caliber of the Hillman Opera productions,” Strauss said. “It is just wonderful that we are getting this national recognition of the wonderful work we do here!”

According to the organization’s website, “due to the vast range of resources available to producing organizations, the entrants are first divided into Undergraduate and Graduate levels (based on predominant age group or training level of the cast) and then each level divided into three divisions according to production size and budget.”

“The annual Hillman Opera production has had a long history of excellence,” said Dan Ihasz, SUNY Fredonia School of Music interim director. “As you may know, opera requires such complete dedication and preparation to even happen, let alone to achieve something so wonderful as the recognition for first place from the National Opera Association. My sincere congratulations to our incredible students who spend countless hours learning; singing, acting, movement, memorizing in a foreign language, stagecraft, technical theater, lighting design, sound design, etc. Also, to my exceptional faculty and colleagues who guide them through each production, I applaud you all!”

The goal of the NOA Opera Production Competition is to “further the organization’s mission by encouraging and rewarding creative, high quality opera productions at academic institutions and music conservatories.”


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