UNT's opera program has been honored by the National Opera Association for its performance of Smetana’s Prodaná nevěsta (The Bartered Bride), which was the first opera to be presented in Czech at UNT.
In January, UNT's opera program placed third in the National Opera Association's Opera Production Competition for the performance.
Paula Homer, director of UNT Opera, accepted the award at the National Opera Association's National Convention in San Antonio.
Two Czech specialists worked with students during preparation for Prodaná nevěsta. Jiri Petrdlik, a conductor in the Czech Republic, coached the students in the principal roles on how to speak the language while Timothy Cheek, author of Singing in Czech: A Guide to Czech Lyric Diction and Vocal Repertoire, helped students perfect their Czech singing skills.
The Bartered Bride was produced in collaboration with the Czech Educational Foundation of Texas' Frank J. and Hermine Hurta Kostohryz Residency in Czech Music and Culture.
In March, UNT will present performances of Prodaná nevěsta in Denton, as well as a condensed version of the opera in Temple, Bryan-College Station, Houston and Austin.
Previously, UNT has won awards from the National Opera Association for two productions: Argento's Postcard from Morocco and Britten's Albert Herring.
About the National Opera Association
The National Opera Association was founded in 1955, under the auspices of the National Music Council and seeks to promote a greater appreciation of opera and music theatre, to enhance pedagogy and performing activities, and to increase performance opportunities by supporting projects that improve the scope and quality of opera. NOA has primarily served education and performance activities in academic institutions and small regional opera companies. The organization especially welcomes participation of college and university opera workshop directors, students, composers, librettists, scholars, and anyone interested in opera and opera education. NOA holds an annual convention featuring performances, panels, workshops, and other continuing-education opportunities for opera educators, professionals, and students. Major activities of the NOA include the encouragement of young artists and composers through competitions and performance opportunities, sharing resources for collegiate and regional productions, and publication of scholarly articles. Special projects of the NOA include Opera for Youth, the Legacy Project, and the Sacred in Opera.