TCU Opera Studio under new direction

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    With four weeks to go until its next performance, the TCU Opera Studio has one thing in mind: the show must go on.

    TCU alumna Hannah Guinn was tapped in January to direct Mozart’s opera “Die Zauberflöte” after former director Keith Wolfe left to take a position in Birmingham, Alabama.

    The opera studio began preparing the German opera last semester. The cast performed scenes from the show on Dec. 5, but there was still much to be done when students learned of Wolfe’s departure. Students had memorized all the words and lyrics, but the staging still needed to be completed. This included collaborating with the orchestra as well as finalizing costume selections and makeup.

    Junior vocal performance major Hannah Urias said Wolfe’s departure was difficult, but Guinn has been able to jump in without any major setbacks.

    “It’s nothing more than you would expect having changed directors,” Urias said. “She has to find out what we’re doing and we have to find out what she wants.”

    Guinn is no stranger to TCU’s Opera Studio. She earned a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from TCU in 2001. Guinn also holds master’s degrees in musicology and opera performance from TCU as well.

    “When you come in mid-semester, there’s already been so much done, so you have to take a couple of steps back to figure out where everything is so you can step forward,” Guinn said. “But it’s been easy stepping in because he [Wolfe] had everything where I expected him to.”

    Guinn worked with Wolfe at Fort Worth Opera, where she has served as the director of that company’s opera studio and education since 2010. She said working alongside Wolfe for seven years made the transition that much easier.

    “He was my mentor and basically everything I’ve learned, I learned from him. I know how his brain works,” Guinn said. “We’re still working together to make sure this [opera] goes forward for the students.”

    “Die Zauberflöte” opens Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in Ed Landreth Hall. There are also performances on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 29 at 2 p.m.