2 Students to Participate in Opera Premiere

SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music is preparing to host the world premiere of a groundbreaking new opera, “Mayo,” by acclaimed composer Tom Cipullo. The Crane Opera Ensemble and Orchestra will unveil its full production of the Pellicciotti Prize-winning work in a series of performances and special events, from Nov. 8 to 11.

The student cast and crew includes:

  • Julia Bartlett of Northport,  who will be playing violin 1 in the orchestra
  • Philip Kronenburg of Melville, who will be playing percussion/timpani in the orchestra

Based on a true story, “Mayo” follows the life of Mayo Buckner, who was committed to the Iowa Home for Feeble-Minded Children at the age of eight, and forged a life of quiet dignity and meaning while living there for the next 60 years.

In a production led by Stage Director Dean Anthony and Music Director Kirk Severtson, the Crane Opera Ensemble will bring Buckner’s story to life — and in the process, shed light on America’s tragic infatuation with eugenics in the early 20th century.

The student cast and orchestra will be joined by two notable guest artists. The rising baritone Ben Edquist will play the title role of Mayo Buckner, while Crane School of Music alumna Lisa Vroman ’79, soprano, will portray Miss Goodrich. Edward “Eddy” Baker, 9, a third grader at Lawrence Avenue Elementary School in Potsdam, will play the role of Young Mayo.

“Mayo” will be presented on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10, at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 3 p.m., in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater. A gala reception will be held in the Performing Arts Center lobby following the Friday evening opening night performance. In addition, there will be an educational outreach performance for students from area schools on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Tickets for the Crane Opera Ensemble production of “Mayo” are $15 for the general public and $10 for SUNY Potsdam faculty, staff and students. To purchase tickets, contact the Community Performance Series Box Office, located in the lobby of SUNY Potsdam’s Performing Arts Center, by calling (315) 267-2277 or visiting http://www.cpspotsdam.org.

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