UW-Green Bay hosts Opera Workshop performance ‘The Final Cause’

GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin–Green Bay is hosting the locally created opera, “The Final Cause” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 16 and 17, at the Jean Weidner Theatre in the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

Advance tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for seniors and UW-Green Bay students. Tickets at the door are $7 and $5, respectively. Order online at www.uwgb.edu/tickets/performing.html or call (800) 328-8587.

The opera was composed by UW-Green Bay Prof. Terence O’Grady, and is being directed by Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston and conducted by Prof. Robert Glaubitz.

The performance is split into two parts. The first half is a collection of art songs, musical theatre selections and monologues centered around the topics of war and peace.

“The Final Cause,” the second half of the performance, is a chamber opera in one act (35 minutes long), composed specifically for the UW-Green Bay Opera Workshop class. This is the first serious opera composed for the opera workshop and was designed to be compatible with the common University-wide Common Theme for 2008-09, “Waging War, Waging Peace.”

The libretto concerns the final days of the Civil War after General Robert E. Lee has surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox.

In the opera, a small confederate brigade guarding a small armory in Virginia is torn about what path to take. Some of the officers realize the war is lost and want to stop the senseless killing. Others want to fight on no matter what. Two wives of the confederate officers guide and counsel their husbands to take different positions. Each of the five main characters represents a different point of view as they debate the last great issue of the war.

The opera is O’Grady’s third and final composition as a faculty member for the Opera Workshop. He is retiring from his position as professor of music at the end of the spring semester. O’Grady has been with UW-Green Bay since 1975.

The campus-wide Common Theme, “Waging War, Waging Peace” is a yearlong program designed to engage the campus and community in the ideals of a liberal arts education and the UW-Green Bay interdisciplinary mission. It is designed to encourage faculty, staff, students and community members to focus on a general theme from multiple perspectives and have a shared experience with open discussion and critical thinking.


Rachel Kay Trempe, junior, Music Education major, Wausau. Soprano soloist.
Vicki Karpeck, senior, Applied Music major, Green Bay. Mezzo-soprano soloist.
Danielle Maus, senior, Music and Humanistic Studies majors, Green Bay. Chorale: high soprano.
Jacob Ault, junior, Music Education major, Kewaunee. Character: Colonel Bailey.
Megan Fletcher, sophomore, Music Performance major, Waupun. Soprano soloist.
Jay Morth, junior, Applied Music major, Menasha. Character: Lieutenant Walker.
Alex Stensaas, freshman, Music Education major, Stoughton. Soloist and Lieutenant Walker understudy.
Suzi Lindner, senior, Musical Theatre major, Poynette. Soloist and acting coach.
Tessa Wegenke, senior, Music major, Montello. Character: Emma Bailey, a Southern colonel’s wife.
Kevin Layne Kuhn II, freshman, Music major, Suring. Character: General Riley.
Lacy Siegmund, junior, Music Education major, Kewaunee. Character: Martha Ryan.
Justin Foth, junior, Music Education major, Spencer. Character: James Bailey.
Melanie Riley, senior, Music Performance major, Green Bay. Character: Martha.
Zach Yost, freshman, Music major, Oconomowoc. Flutist.
Prof. Eric Hansen, clarinet.
Adjunct Instructor Mary Slavek, piano.