MEDIA: We’re changing this on your online calendars. This is just fyi.


Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337,




Replaces “RIP” on UNCSA Performance Calendar

WINSTON-SALEM – On the heels of the critically acclaimed production of Così fan tutte, the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has announced a new opera for the spring: Thomas Pasatieri’s Hotel Casablanca, where Texas life imitates Italian opera.

The production will be presented May 11, 13 and 15 in Agnes de Mille Theatre on the UNCSA campus. The opera replaces Adam Guettel’s RIP, about Rip Van Winkle, on UNCSA’s performance calendar. RIP continues to be a work-in-progress.

Set in Texas in 1948, Hotel Casablanca is a comic opera in two acts. It tells the story of Tom and Tallulah Carter, owners of the Double T Ranch, and their nephew Charles, who is visiting from New York. Included in the story are Raul and Lucy Perez, guests of the Carters; and Miss Pooder and Veronique of the Hotel Casablanca. A pair of suspenders, a love of opera, and a seedy hotel set the stage with suspicion and misunderstanding in the style of Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro).

Interestingly, Hotel Casablanca composer Thomas Pasatieri was a student of the School of the Arts’ first president, Vittorio Giannini, at Juilliard. Pasatieri described Giannini as “the most influential teacher of his life.”

Composed for nine principal singers and sung in English, the opera will be directed by Steven LaCosse with musical direction by James Allbritten and vocal preparation by Angela Vanstory Ward. All are faculty-artists of the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of UNCSA, where Allbritten serves as artistic director, LaCosse as managing director, and Ward as principal vocal coach.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and Friday, May 13, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 15. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens, and can be purchased at the UNCSA Box Office at (336) 721-1945 or online at 

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 high 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. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit