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WINSTON-SALEM – The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and the School of Design and Production at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) will present Benjamin Britten’s delightful comic opera Albert Herring next month.  

An English opera in three acts, Albert Herring will be performed at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, and Friday, May 7, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 9, in Agnes de Mille Theatre on the UNCSA campus, 1533 South Main St., Winston-Salem. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Call the UNCSA Box Office at 336-721-1945 for reservations, or to purchase tickets online, visit: www.uncsa.edu/performances.

The opera’s libretto, by Eric Crozier, was based on Guy de Maupassant’s story Le Rosier de Madame Husson. The setting is Loxford, a small market town in East Suffolk

Sid played by Kyle Guglielmo (right) tempting Albert Herring played by Adam Ulrich (left) in the "garden of Benjamin Britten".  Photo by A. Aycock

The town of Loxford has its traditions. No other tradition is such an honor as being chosen the Queen of the May festival. Loxford has always had its share of fair, virtuous girls to choose from; however, this time around there doesn’t seem to be a girl to fit the bill. Without a “pure” girl in sight, the committee chooses Mrs. Herring’s son, Albert, to be their newly named “King of the May.”

Albert Herring was previously staged on the UNCSA campus in 1998 with the current duo, Conductor James Allbritten and Director Steven LaCosse, at the helm. The production not only re-dedicated a renovated Agnes de Mille Theatre, but was also recognized by reporter Gordon Sparber, of the Winston-Salem Journal, as the Best Opera in the region that year.

One of the foremost composers of the 20th century, Benjamin Britten was born in England on 1913 and first came to the United States in 1939.  Britten wrote Albert Herring only a year after the success of his tragic opera The Rape of Lucretia. Despite its comic nature, Albert Herring has been described as an opera with characters of depth.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from middle school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. Internationally renowned conductor John Mauceri has been chancellor of UNCSA since 2006. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.