[CUA Office of Public Affairs]



                                                                                                         Oct. 19, 2005


CUA to Stage “Regina” as American Musicological Society Offering


Catholic University’s Benjamin T. Rome School will stage a performance of Marc Blitzstein’s opera Regina on Thursday, Oct. 27, as an offering of the American Musicological Society’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.


The CUA production of “Regina,” to be staged at Hartke Theatre, shares the bill with other performances presented as offerings of the society’s annual meeting, which will be held Oct. 27 through 30. The other selections include performances by the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Washington National Opera and the Baltimore Opera Company.


The music school also will stage performances of “Regina” Oct. 28 and 29. Kate Tamarkin will conduct the Oct. 27 and 28 performances; Adam Turner will conduct the Oct. 29 performance. The opera in three acts, with a libretto drawn from Lillian Hellman’s play “The Little Foxes,” chronicles a Southern family in the 1900s ripped apart by greed. The music is distinctly American, encompassing spirituals, ragtime and blues.


“Marc Blitzstein was unique for his time, balanced between Leonard Bernstein and the [Stephen] Sondheim school that would officially emerge 15 years later,” says Murry Sidlin, dean of the CUA music school.


“It is music theater, opera and cabaret juxtaposed and synthesized,” Sidlin adds. “Had he lived into his musical maturity, Blitzstein probably would have had three Broadway shows and two operas at Lincoln Center all playing at the same time. Put all this together with a great book by Lillian Hellman, and out comes a wonderful musical event.”


Blitzstein’s musical career was cut short when he died tragically at the age of 58 in Martinique on Jan. 22, 1964, after he was severely beaten and robbed by three Portuguese sailors. 


In addition to the CUA performance of “Regina,” more than 10 Catholic University graduate students of music will serve as official aides at the society’s annual meeting. The society, founded in 1934 to advance research in the various fields of music as a branch of learning and scholarship, is expected to draw about 1,500 participants from around the world.


“This is a great opportunity for our students to hear presentations by many of the finest music scholars in the world,” says Grayson Wagstaff, CUA associate professor of music.  “The students will also get to see how such large conferences are run.”


Tickets for “Regina” are $10 and $15. For more information about the production, call 202-319-5414 or visit http://music.cua.edu/.


MEDIA:             To cover the CUA production of “Regina,” reporters must contact Katie Lee in the CUA Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.




Catholic University’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music is the only university music school in the Washington, D.C., area. The music school offers both undergraduate and graduate programs of study in performance of instrumental music (including chamber music and orchestral studies), piano, voice (including choral music and opera), composition and theory, musicology, conducting, musical theater, music education, voice and piano pedagogy. New programs include the Institute of Sacred Music, and a concentration in composition for the theater. The music school designs programs and curricula that encourage young musicians to be imaginative in developing audiences, in providing musical service throughout communities, and in connecting with the evolution of American arts institutions as well as new ways to serve humanity.






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Revised: 10/26/2005

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The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.