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Sept. 12, 2007

Contact Julie Larson at 608-796-3737 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – The Viterbo University Music department will present the one-act operas Riders to the Sea by Ralph Vaughan Williams and The Impresario by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22 and 2 p.m. Sept. 23.

“The Viterbo University community is invited to attend the operas,” said Dan Johnson-Wilmot, the Viterbo music faculty member who is serving as the music director of the event. “The intimate setting in the Recital Hall will provide an opportunity to experience the full range of emotion from the tragedy of Vaughan Williams to the comedic brilliance of Mozart.”

Before Riders to the Sea begins, Maurya, an elderly Irish woman, has lost her husband, father-in-law and four of her six sons to the sea. As the opera begins, she loses a fifth son, and by the end she has lost her final son. The opera closes with Maurya’s lament, “They are all gone now, and there isn’t anything more the sea can do to me.” Riders to the Sea stars Viterbo music students Andrea Feirer, Kim Hutchinson, Elayne Juten, Dustin Oldenburg, and Katherine Weber. The chorus consists of Marysa Abbas, Elizabeth Curtis, Robynn Koeppel, Colleen Lentz, Cassie Pennebecker, and Hannah Weiss.

In The Impresario, two female singers audition for the same position and end up arguing who is the true “prima donna”—Italian for first lady. Rather than put up with the headaches involved in hiring the two divas, the impresario resigns his post and passes control of the company to his assistant who, in turn, quickly hires himself as the new "primo buffo" and passes the title of impresario on to the promoter of the two female singers. The quartet then proclaims the virtues of art and the pitfalls of rivalry and self-ambition. The Impresario stars students Brianna Burner, Matthew Curtis, Andrew Dahlberg, Andy Kroes, and Sarah Shestak.

Joining music director Johnson-Wilmot in both productions is Ken Risch, stage director; Judy Stafslien, pianist; Holly Saunders, rehearsal pianist; Lisa Jones, costumes; and Chad Kolbe, props.

Each opera is approximately 30 minutes in length. Tickets are $8 for the general public. For more information, contact the box office at ext. 3100 or


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