ACU Opera will perform two local shows as fundraisers for its upcoming Christmas break world tour through Germany and Italy.
The first fundraising performance will be at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 12 in conjunction with Mu Phi Epsilon, the music department’s equivalent of a social club. The concert will take place in the Williams Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. ACU Opera will present its Disney show and admission will be by donation.
The second fundraiser will be at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Paramount Theater. Tickets are priced at $5 for students and $10 for adults.
The group is comprised of twenty students and four faculty members will travel to Europe. Led by Dr. Rick Piersall, ACU Opera director, the ensemble will perform six shows and recitals between the German cities of Hildesheim, Berlin and Leipzig and Palermo, Italy.
One performance will include leading the Sunday worship service at Geimeinde Christi, a Church of Christ congregation in Berlin, Piersall said. The tour will take place Dec. 15-Jan. 8.
“We are the Sunday morning worship service,” Piersall said. “For me as a professional opera singer, this is the very first time I feel accepted as who I am “” professionally and artistically “” spiritually, in my own faith background.”
While on tour, the group will perform the opera Amahl and the Night Visitors as well as a Disney-themed show consisting of 40 minutes of non-stop Disney music, Piersall said. Both shows will be performed twice in Abilene as fundraisers for the tour.
Piersall said the group has already raised enough money to perform the shows, but he is hoping to raise about $6,000 more to cover the majority of the team’s travel expenses.
Julie Brinkman, senior vocal music education major from McKinney, is a member of ACU Opera and said she is looking forward to the ministry opportunities presented in traveling and performing overseas.
“We’re going to be performing at different churches,” she said. “So we’re going to be bringing people who don’t necessarily go to church; (they’ll) come and then go to church and meet the pastor so they can become involved in the church as well.”
Aaron Vaught, senior music education major from Bedford, is excited to experience European opera culture.
“The venues that we’ll get to perform in will be amazing,” Vaught said. “We’re going to see operas for sure, like professional operas. Opera is a lot bigger in Europe than it is here in America. There are like opera houses on every corner.”
Aside from its performances in Abilene, ACU Opera will perform fundraising concerts in Houston on Nov. 30 and Sweetwater on Dec. 6.
The tour to Germany and Italy will mark the first time ACU Opera performs outside America.