Wichita Grand Opera

Wichita Grand Opera is presenting a performance of Verdi's "La Traviata" this weekend. The part of Violetta will be sung by soprano Larisa Martinez, who will be making her debut in the lead role on Saturday night. 

Carla Eckels: Your role as Violetta is a very demanding role. How did you go about embracing that?

Larisa Martinez: Prepare, prepare, practice, practice. I've been working on it a long time now — ever since I auditioned and got the role. You need to have a really good vocal technique so that you can make it to the end.

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Giacomo Puccini is one of opera's most beloved and widely recognized figures. His work has had such impact on modern culture that even today, many people who have never attended an opera recognize the music from such works as La Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Turandot.

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The word “opera” comes from the Latin word for “work,” but it wasn’t until 1639 that the word was used to describe a theatrical piece that includes poetry, vocal music, orchestral music and dance.

Opera first appeared on the world stage in 1598, with the production of La Dafne in Florence, Italy. Ottavio Rinuccini wrote the book, known as the libretto, and Jacopo Peri composed the musical score. The music has long been lost to us, but the libretto survives mostly intact.

Wichita Collegiate School

Wichita Collegiate School is celebrating it's 50th anniversary with fine arts performances by returning alum from around the globe including, Soprano Rochelle Small-Clifford. KMUW’s Carla Eckels reports…

Small-Clifford is a 1993 graduate of the independent college prep school. The Wichita native has made varied appearances in her music career from ground zero in New York City to guest performances in Europe.

Voice and opera students at WSU will have the opportunity to study with two international opera stars beginning this fall.

Samuel Ramey, a renowned and celebrated opera talent and the most recorded bass in history, and Alan Held, an international opera star and one of the leading bass-baritone singing actors today, will join Wichita State's music faculty.

As announced in a press release on Tuesday, Ramey will have a daily presence on campus throughout the year.