Belhaven Hosts Mississippi Opera's 70th Anniversary Concert

MS Opera PosterNovember 11, 2015 (Jackson, Miss.) - Belhaven University will host and participate in the Mississippi Opera’s upcoming event: A Cavalleria Rusticana Gala. “We are celebrating our historic 70th season with Cavalleria Rusticana on November 21, 2015 at Belhaven University Center for the Arts,” said Artistic Director Jay Dean. “This was the company’s very first production in 1945.”

The first part of this 70th Anniversary Gala will be a retrospective on Mississippi Opera’s history since 1945. Belhaven University president, Dr. Roger Parrott is the emcee for the evening. Longtime fine arts patron and Mississippi Opera Historian Richard B. “Dick” Wilson Jr. wrote and will narrate the history. Dr. Stephen Sachs, Belhaven’s Dean of Fine Arts, will also be one of the speakers. “The Mississippi Opera Chorus and Belhaven University Chorus will round out this impressive ensemble,” Dean noted.

“Our artists will present selected solos that emphasize some of the high points in the company’s history during the first half of our exciting gala. During the second half of the evening we will present a semi-staged version of Mascagni’s dramatic and powerful, “real-life” opera, Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry),” noted Tippy Garner, executive director of the Mississippi Opera.

The cast for the production is stellar: Kristin Johnson-Gunn as Santuzza, Viola Dacus as Lola, John Christopher Adams as Turridu, J. Taylor Hightower as Alfio and Rachel Alexander as Mama Lucia.

For more information about Mississippi Opera’s 70th Anniversary Season, call 601-960-2300 or visit


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