In this week’s episode, Media School Dean Jim Shanahan interviews Jeffrey Buchman, stage director for the Jacobs School of Music’s upcoming production of “Carmen,” and Jacobs graduate student Patricia Illera, who will perform the opera’s title role.
“Carmen,” one of the most widely performed operas in the world, has a rich history at IU Bloomington dating back to 1956. This season marks the school’s ninth production of the opera.
Buchman has an extensive background in stage direction, including performances of “Don Giovanni,” “Don Pasquale,” and “Carmen” during this year alone. Buchman has a bachelor’s degree in opera from the Boston Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree in voice from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Previously, Buchman directed “La boheme” at IU Bloomington during the Jacobs School of Music’s 2014-2015 season and “La traviata” during the 2013-2014 season.
Illera is a lifelong musician who started her career learning guitar and singing in the Madrid Children’s Choir. Her academic interest in music didn’t begin until after she’d pursued a bachelor’s degree in medicine from the Autonomous University of Madrid. She then earned a bachelor’s degree in voice performance from The Escuela Superior de Canto de Madrid.
Shanahan, Buchman, and Illera will discuss the enduring popularity of “Carmen” worldwide, as well as the challenges it presents to both a stage director and performer. Shanahan will also ask Buchman and Illera about their unique personal experiences and how these will impact their respective roles in the opera.
Tickets for the Jacobs School of Music’s production of “Carmen” are on sale now.
IU news highlights this week:
- Indiana University has been named one of the top 10 producers of scholars through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The 19 IU Fulbright recipients represent a variety of disciplines and will go to 15 countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
- Raj Acharya has been named the new dean of the IU School of Informatics and Computing. Acharya is a leader in the fields of big data mining, network sciences and engineering, and genomics. He will start on July 1; his appointment is subject to confirmation by the IU Board of Trustees.
- Monica Green has been named the new director of IU’s Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. Green, currently the director of the Hanover College Haq Center for Cross Cultural Education, will begin her new position March 14.
- The IU Newsroom launched a new site this week to assist reporters and news media covering the 2016 elections. Decision 2016 features a comprehensive guide to IU news sources; tips for identifying and reaching experts; published articles, news releases and blog posts; and other information.
- IU’s Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team made it to the quarterfinals on February 21. The competition challenges students to respond to ethical quandaries in the professional, social and political realms. Thirty-six teams were chosen as regional finalists for the competition, which was held in Reston, VA.
- The IU Cinema hosted the world-premiere of a new score created to accompany a classic western silent film. Jacobs School of Music graduate student Ari Barack Fisher created the score to accompany the 1916 film “The Return of Draw Egan.”
- A 100-year-old poem written by IU’s first African-American female student has been discovered. Carrie Parker wrote “The Negro’s Challenge” as a statement on racial justice. It was published on the front page of The Tulsa Star in Oklahoma. Over the past year, IU has also commissioned a portrait and established a scholarship in honor of Parker, whose role in IU’s history was rediscovered in October.
IU event highlights this week:
- This evening, Sunday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. is the Miss Indiana University Pageant at Alumni Hall in the Indiana Memorial Union. Admission is free; bring a donation of dry goods or personal hygiene products to be entered in a raffle for prizes from local businesses including Scholars Inn and Red Mango.
- At 10:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 29, in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, join campus leaders for a presentation on IU’s external diversity audit. The presentation will be followed by a Q-and-A session.
- Also on Monday, stop by the 2016 Health Programs Fair in Alumni Hall and the Frangipani Room between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to learn about career choices, volunteer opportunities, campus resources and educational opportunities. More than 100 schools, programs and organizations from across the country will be represented at the fair.
- SustainIU Week launches Monday evening with keynote speeches by scholar-environmentalists Drew Lanham and Julian Agyeman at 7:30 p.m. in the Whittenberger Auditorium at the IMU.
- Tuesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. in the Whittenberger Auditorium, four-time Olympic champion Greg Louganis will be the first speaker in the Ryan White and William L. Yarber Lecture Series hosted by the IU School of Public Health. A screening of “Back on Board,” a documentary on Louganis, will be shown at IU Cinema at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29. He will attend the screening, which will be free and open to the public.
- Wednesday, March 2, please join Provost Lauren Robel for the first in a monthly series of discussions called “Hot Topics,” the first of which is focused on policing and the Black Lives Matter movement. The discussion begins at 6 p.m. in the Moot Court Room of the Maurer School of Law.
- The IU Art Museum opens a new special spring exhibition Friday, March 4, at 5:30 p.m., “Arts of Kenya: Beauty in Traditional Forms.” The evening begins with a concert by Voice Tatu in the Special Exhibitions Gallery on the first floor. The reception continues at 6:30 p.m. in the Thomas T. Solley Atrium on the first floor.
- The African American Dance Company’s 18th annual dance workshop is next weekend. Catch their showcase on Saturday, March 5 at 7 p.m. at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.
- Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Musical Arts Center, don’t miss the final performances of “Carmen,” the subject of today’s podcast.
- Finally, Raas Royalty will perform traditional Indian dances as part of its annual dance competition March 5 at 7 p.m. at IU Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
News and events for this episode will be read by Luqmann Ruth, of Chicago, a senior recording arts major in the Jacobs School of Music and composer of the music for this podcast, and Rebekah Howell, a graduate student studying voice performance at the Jacobs School of Music. An active performer with IU Opera & Ballet Theater, Howell recently made her debut as Adele in “Die Fledermaus” and will also be singing Ado Annie in “Oklahoma!“
Through the Gates: IU This Week is a collaboration of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, The Media School in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the IU Newsroom.