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Western New Yorkers help stage 'Dialogues of the Carmelites' at Baldwin Wallace University


BEREA, Ohio -- Eight Western New York students were among a talented group of students who staged the opera "Dialogues of the Carmelites" during the spring semester at Baldwin Wallace University. Scott Skiba, associate professor and director of opera studies, directed the captivating production with Octavio Mas-Arocas, director of orchestral studies, conducting the orchestra. The following students participated in the production:

  • Giuliana Bozza of Rochester, a graduate of Greece Arcadia High School majoring in vocal performance, played the part of Sister Anne of the Cross/Marie-Anne Brideau.
  • Jeffrey Jaskolka of Boston, a graduate of Hamburg Senior High School majoring in keyboard performance, played piano.
  • Casey Kallman of Pittsford, a graduate of Pittsford Mendon High School majoring in music therapy, played trombone.
  • Casidy Reed of Clarence, a graduate of Clarence Central High School majoring in music education, played trumpet.
  • Robin Senser of Orchard Park, a graduate of Hamburg Senior High School majoring in vocal performance, played the part of Mother Marie of the Incarnation.
  • Emily Small of Williamsville, a graduate of Williamsville High School South majoring in instrumental performance, played cello.
  • Abigail Throm of Lancaster, a graduate of Lancaster Central High School majoring in business administration, played the part of Mob and served as wardrobe supervisor.
  • Brianna Volkmann of Fairport, a graduate of Fairport High School majoring in instrumental performance, played horn.

Francis Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites" is a fictionalized portrayal of the Martyrs of Compiegne. Set in the closing days of the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, the opera tells the timely and tragic story of Carmelite nuns who were guillotined in Paris for refusing to renounce their vocation. Daniel Hathaway of clevelandclassical.com said the "strong student cast . . . sang beautifully both as soloists and as a choir [and] Conductor Octavio Mas-Arocas paced the show expertly."

BW's Opera Workshop produces two full-scale opera productions each year to engage students in contemporary and classical approaches to opera. Students work with leading opera, theatre, music theatre and dance faculty, and receive comprehensive training for graduate school and beyond as they build a solid foundation of singing and acting techniques that are responsive to current industry expectations.

Baldwin Wallace University, founded in 1845, was one of the first colleges to admit students without regard to race or gender. An independent, coeducational university of 4,000 students, BW offers coursework in the liberal arts tradition in 75 academic areas. Located in Berea, 12 miles from downtown Cleveland, BW offers students the cultural, educational and business advantages of a major metropolitan area.