Religious Tragedy ‘Suor Angelica’ to Close WT Opera Workshop Season

Chip Chandler Apr 08, 2021
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Religious Tragedy ‘Suor Angelica’ to Close WT Opera Workshop Season

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University’s Opera Workshop will conclude its season with a classic religious drama based around the tragic life of a nun.

Giacomo Puccini’s “Suor Angelica,” a one-act opera featuring an all-female cast, will be staged at 7:30 p.m. April 15 and 17 in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex Recital Hall on WT’s Canyon campus.

Because of ongoing Covid-19 guidelines, seating is limited. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to support the 2021-22 opera season. For reservations, call 806-651-2840 or email

“I picked ‘Suor Angelica’ as our second show this season to give more opportunities to our treble singers in the opera program,” said Sarah Beckham-Turner, assistant professor of music and director of the opera workshop. “So many operas feature so many male voices, but because this is set in a convent, we are able to feature our talented female singers.”

Beckham-Turner will perform as the title character, an especially complicated role for any singer, particularly student singers.

“I think it is fun and educational for my students to have the opportunity to perform with working professional singers, such as myself and contralto Alissa Anderson, who will sing the role of the princess,” Beckham-Turner said. “I am loving working with my students. They are all so special to me, and I adore the work ethic and excitement they bring to the show.”

Featured cast members include Shannon Burr of Harrisburg, Pa., as La Suora Zelatrice; Mira Caliman of Hurst as Suor Genevieffa; Codi Hittson of Amarillo as La Maestra Della Novizie; Mariana Pacheco of Canyon as Suor Dolcina; Savannah Poor of Odessa as Suor Osmina; Audrey Reidling of Plano as La Suora Infermiera; and Chloe Ridolfo of Los Angeles as La Badessa.

The cast also includes Kit Boyington of Goodland, Kan.; Signe Elder of Lubbock; Erin Hinds of Amarillo; Abigail Hite of Nashville; Brooklynne Johnston of Friona; Elizabeth Mendoza of Amarillo; Eleisha Miller of Amarillo; Brianna Moen of Azle; Madison Moreno of El Paso; and Analisa Rios of San Angelo.

Mitchell Hernandez of Canyon is stage manager. Alexis Martinez of North Richland Hills and Bridgette McFall of San Antonio are assistant stage managers.

Benjamin Robinson of Opera Ithaca is guest director. Graduate conducting student Anthony Vickery of Odessa is conductor. Pianist is Steve Simpson.

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key component of the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 15 men’s and women’s athletics programs.