Music students put on capable opera shows

Watching opera is not a typical night outing for most college kids, but the Frost School of Music made the art form an option for students on campus over the weekend.

The Frost Opera Theater program performed Mozart’s “Bastien and Bastienne” and Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” at Gusman Hall from April 10 to 13.

The performance of Mozart’s piece was impressive, as all three performers – students Laura Montes, Will Spanheimer and Rishi Rane – breathed life into their characters with as much musicality as the composer had intended.

“I was pleasantly surprised because I did not expect our college to have such a strong opera program,” Matt Levin, a freshman, said.

The second opera, “Dido and Aeneas,” differed from the first show in many ways. The cast size was over 20 as opposed to three, and the singers were predominantly freshmen.

One might assume that the addition of potentially inexperienced freshman would hinder the performance, but this was not the case. Their sound was one of confidence and their opera carried a musical balance that isn’t typically found in such a young ensemble.

Lauren Levy, who played Dido in “Dido and Aenaeas,” portrayed her character with such a strong voice that it voice stood out louder than the rest of the ensemble. This allowed the audience to connect to and characterize Dido as a woman of power.

Chris Bedford, who visited campus from FAU to see the opera, enjoyed the performance despite difficulties following the story.

“The plot was confusing because I couldn’t really understand what they were saying all the time,” he said. “But with that being said, it was absolutely amazing. I thought they did a really good job portraying their characters.”

With diverse programming and amazing students in their performances, these Frost School of Music productions offered a chance for students to learn and be entertained.

Sam Rotenberg may be contacted at