30 March 2019 was a big day at the University of North Carolina–the day a prize-winning production of Weill, Brecht, and Hauptmann’s opera Der Jasager (One Who Says Yes) hit the boards. The production was presented as part of the NEH-sponsored “Music Unwound” program and supported by a grant from the Foundation. It ran for only two performances, but that was enough to get the attention of the National Opera Association, which granted it First Prize (Division II) for the undergraduate level in its annual Opera Production Competition.
Director Marc Callahan: “This is a highly competitive and coveted prize and I am humbled to know that UNC’s department of music rose above some of the country’s most prestigious conservatories–especially those that house large undergraduate opera programs. . . . This was a particularly meaningful journey for me as an artist and director, learning the ancient art of Noh with my incredible teachers from the Kanze Noh school in Kyoto, Japan and having the honor to share that knowledge and experience with our students.”
Congratulations to Callahan and conductor Evan Feldman, along with all the students, visiting artists, and faculty advisors who contributed to this remarkable achievement. Outstanding productions such as this keep opera alive.
Complete video of production (YouTube)
Learn more about Der Jasager
Production photo by Richard Poppino