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February 24, 2010
By Kathie Taylor
The University of Nevada, Reno’s Nevada Chamber Opera received national recognition at the National Opera Association’s 2010 Convention last month in Atlanta, Ga. for its production of “HMS Pinafore” performed during the 2008-2009 academic year.
The production placed third in its category, following closely behind productions by much larger schools, the State University of New York and the City University of New York.
“This is the first time the University’s opera productions has received recognition at this kind of level,” Damon Stevens, director of the Nevada Chamber Orchestra said. “We’ve made some great changes and will continue to grow the program to build a national reputation.”
Stevens took over as director of the University’s opera program in 2008. Since, Stevens said the program has partnered with the theatre department to produce fully costumed productions directed by Sue Klemp and the group’s productions have been critiqued by local theatre critic, Jack Neal. Stevens plans to enter last semester’s production of “Die Fledermaus” in the NOA production awards for this academic year.
This next fall, the Nevada Chamber Orchestra will perform “Dido and Aneas.”
“It’s going to be a very special and intimate Baroque theatre piece,” Stevens said. “We have a full pit orchestra for our fall performance, and we’ll limit the audience to 140 people per performance and move them onto the Nightingale stage.”
Stevens said he hopes the growing reputation of the University’s opera program will lure more students to the many fine programs offered by the School of the Arts.