Thursday Scholarship Series features two operas in October performances

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The UGA Opera Theatre returns to Hodgson Concert Hall for the Thursday Scholarship Series, performing two one-act comic operas—Mozart's "The Impresario" and Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi"—in two performances on October 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. 

The Opera Theatre will combine with the UGA Symphony Orchestra to stage these opera masterpieces, semi-staged with English supertitles. This is the first time the Hugh Hodgson School of Music’s opera ensemble has performed two operas for its major fall production.

“Being able to bring these delightful masterpieces to our students and audiences is extremely gratifying, and a project I have hoped to present for the past ten years of my tenure here at UGA,” said Frederick Burchinal, the Wyatt and Margaret Anderson Professor of the Arts at the School of Music and director of the UGA Opera Theatre.

“The Impresario,” or “Der Schauspieldirektor,” leads off the production, taking aim at theatre culture with a story about a frustrated theater manager, an equally frustrated, but hopeful non-singing singer and a wealthy "benefactor" who's only real interest in the theater is to promote his two recent love conquests.

“What makes this even more amusing is the awareness that from the 1750s to today, nothing has really changed in the theater/opera world,” said Burchinal.  

Following intermission, the Opera Theatre performs Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi,” which Burchinal says “is, without question, one of the greatest comic operas ever written.” Originally devised as one of three one-act operas to be performed together, “Gianni Schicchi” uses Dante’s “Inferno” and actual historic figures to create an enduring, hour-long amusement that takes a comic look at family intrigue, deception, and love.

“‘Gianni Schicchi’ has been one of my personal favorites as a character to play and an opera to enjoy throughout my entire career as an opera professional, and this performance is a rare opportunity for our audience to see this masterpiece brought to life with our excellent singing actors,” said Burchinal.

Those interested in an in-depth look at the production can attend a pre-performance lecture at 6 p.m. before the Oct. 21 performance. An RSVP sent to is required for this pre-concert event.

Tickets are $20 each or $6 with a UGA student ID and are available at, 706-542-4400, or visiting the Performing Arts Center box office.

The Oct. 21 performance will be streamed live for internet audiences via the School of Music’s website:

The Thursday Scholarship Series began in 1980 and continues the tradition of “Music Appreciation Programs” started by Hugh Hodgson in the 1930s. Proceeds from contributions and ticket sales to these concerts are among the primary means through which School of Music scholarship funds are raised each year.

The UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music sponsors more than 350 performances each year. To view the performance calendar, subscribe to the weekly email concert listing or learn more about the School of Music, go to