Appalachian students perform classic operas

Ryan Morris

The operas “Dido and Aeneas” by Henry Purcell and “Bastien und Bastienne” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were performed Thursday through Sunday at Rosen Concert Hall, presented by the Hayes School of Music.

Both performances were part of the annual Spring Opera Program.

The operas were noticeably contrasting, said Randall Outland, an Appalachian State University lecturer and the director of the show.

“One [Bastien und Bastienne] is nice, easy and light,” Outland said. “I wanted to juxtapose that with something more serious and tragic.”

The operas explored many themes.

“They kind of cover the experience of everybody’s lives,” said Chung Park, an assistant professor in the school of music. “We’re talking about love, loss and yearning. This is what makes us human – these kinds of feelings.”

The English translation of “Bastien und Bastienne,” the comedy of the two operas, was performed first. Mozart wrote it when he was only 12 years old.

“I like to kid around and say he wrote this one while in the womb,” said Joseph Amaya, a professor in the school of music.

Most of this piece was performed by only three people told in one act.

The tragic “Dido and Aeneas,” which was Henry Purcell’s only opera, was performed in a prologue and three acts. It is a baroque piece based on Greek mythology.

The operas were performed completely by Appalachian students, and the students featured had varying levels of experience coming into the shows.

Undergraduates. as well as graduate students, were cast in the operas.

The performances were double cast, meaning there were different students in the leading roles for each specific opera.

Upcoming events in the Hayes School of Music can be found at

Story: JAY SALTON, Intern A&E Reporter