UNLV Opera premieres State of Grace at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11 and 12 in the Judy Bayley Theatre. State of Grace is a one-act opera by Linda Lister, associate professor of music, director of UNLV Opera, and author of Yoga for Singers: Freeing Your Voice and Spirit through Yoga. In the opera, a yoga teacher named Grace is confronted with a breast cancer medical diagnosis that requires her to uncover the yoga principles she has actually taught for several years.
This opening night of State of Grace stars mezzo-soprano Erin Gonzalez as Grace, with Hunter Rose Turner as her cover/understudy. The cast includes Casey Dakus and Tyler Urbano, cover/understudy, as cancer survivor and new yoga trainee Mary; sopranos Emily Clements and Lisa Elliott as Instagram yogini Felicity; tenors Ranon Pador and Matthew Sink as the friendly jock Randy; and bass-baritones Aaron Pendleton and Andrew Williams as the hippie Leif. Sopranos Moriah Berry and Tamara Richards share the double function of the physician and yoga instructor Breezy.
The production exists as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a part of ticket sales will benefit Withstand Cancer. The music of the opera showcases chanting and sung mantras, and the production needs the performers to sing while they practice yoga postures. Author, librettist, and director Lister shares that “State of Grace is the ultimate imaginative awareness of my experience as an opera director, composer, yogi, and survivor. There has never been an opera discussed yoga and cancer. It is my hope that State of Grace will be an instructional and empowering experience for both the singers and the audience.”
Tickets are $10. Discounts are readily available. Trainees can get totally free admission with their student ID. Tickets are available at the Carrying Out Arts Center online or by calling 702-895-ARTS (2787 ).