Presented with a quandary, Bill Shomos found a solution — albeit until the weather forces the University of Nebraska-Lincoln opera department back indoors.
UNL's director of opera recognized early on in the pandemic the aerosol issues with the coronavirus that singers would have to encounter.
For the sake of his students, he also had to find a way to get them back on stage. However, doing so in a stuffy auditorium was not going to happen anytime soon.
"I finally figured, 'What the heck -- let's take it outside,'" Shomos said.
The UNL campus is blessed with a number of suitable outdoor venues, none better than the patio outside Kimball Recital Hall, which in normal times, hosts the annual Jazz in June festival.
On Saturday and Sunday, Shomos will present Leos Janacek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen” at 5 p.m. on that stage. The show will also be livestreamed Friday at 5 p.m.
He assures those wishing to attend that with performers fully amplified, they'll be able to see and hear the opera from anywhere on the lawn of the arts quad.
"I hope people will look forward to bringing blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the opera from any vantage point they like," he said.
There will be no charge for the 90-minute opera, which will be sung in English with projected supertitles.
A large projection screen will help tell the story through a series of illustrations designed by Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film alum David Tousley.
In addition, puppetry for the many animal characters has been created by Nebraska Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Andy Park and Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film alum Jill Hibbard.
“The Cunning Little Vixen” is a story of the cyclical nature of life, featuring a forester, his family, a rescued vixen fox cub and other creatures of the forest.
“It’s a story about life, love and rebirth,” said Karin Berg, an undergraduate voice major who is playing the role of the forester’s wife, in a written statement. “It is a lively, fun and meaningful story that I think we can all enjoy and relate to.”
Olivia Hacker, a first-year graduate student who is playing the vixen, said the outdoor experience enhances the story and performance.
“Honestly, this work almost begs to be presented outdoors,” Hacker said in a written statement. “I think we’re all able to explore the story better due to the outdoor space, in that, nature is automatically included as the narrative sphere.”
Admission to the show is free, and the audience is urged to bring blankets or lawn chairs.
Photos: Lincoln during the pandemic
Photos: The scene in Lincoln with much of city shut down
City Council distancing
Gameday empty Saturday
Thank you Bryan West
No fans allowed
Volleyball social distancing
Boo at the Zoo
Downtown mask art
Marching band competition
East Campus proposed budget cuts
No Football Saturday
UNL in-person class
Farmers Market influencers
Weeping Water vs. Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan
First day of middle school
First day of school
Pius X volleyball practice
City Council BLM protest
Rally and hearing
Lancaster County Super Fair
LPS board meeting
Meatpacking workers rally
Lincoln Northeast graduation
Gov. Ricketts address Legislature
Masked Archie the Mammoth
First Jury Trial in Four Months
Lincoln Community Playhouse
The Kindler Hotel
Garth Brooks Drive-In Concert
Urban Air Adventure Park
Gere Branch Library
Music on the Move
Bars Opening in Lincoln
LPS Teachers Retirement
Holmes Lake Manor Horse Visit
Lancaster County Courthouse
Church Social Distancing
Children of Smithfield
Parkview Christian Teacher Appreciation Day
Lincoln Christian 2020 Seniors
Test Nebraska site
Drive-Thru Career Fair
Center for People in Need food distribution
Masks For Truckers
Teacher and Staff Parade
Virtual City Council
Good Friday Music
Masks on a walk
Watch: A timelapse of the mural at Saro Cider
Watch: Hand sanitizer rolls off Innovation Campus assembly line
No fun here
Tower Square sign
WATCH: Celebrating a birthday with a parade
Simpsons in the windows
Drive-thru COVID-19 testing
UNL Beekeeping virtual class
Lincoln Lutheran Online Teaching
Blue for public health
Basketball without fans
Thanksgiving to go
Socially distant Santa
Christmas tree demand
Basketball fans reduced
Mike Hilgers at Legislature's First Day
Zoo Bar membership
New high school
Biking in snow
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