SHU to co-produce first fully staged opera with professionals

Seton Hall is partnering with the MidAtlantic Opera to co-present a fully staged performance of Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” conducted and stage directed by Dr. Jason Tramm. The production runs from May 1-4 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.

The partnership occurred because Tramm is the artistic director for the MidAtlantic Opera and is also the director of choral activities at Seton Hall. The choral program is growing and is excited to take part in the first full-stage opera that Seton Hall has ever participated in, according to Tramm.

“This is very special and very exciting,” Tramm said. “It is so important for the students studying music to get on stage and perform, and it is an especially great opportunity to work with professional opera singers.”

Tramm said getting the chance to work with professionals is also beneficial to the university’s music department.

“It allows you to augment the program and bring in other professionals who show the kids what it’s like and give them real-world experience and mentorship,” he said.

“This opportunity puts SHU on a different level [than other universities] and gives us great exposure,” he said.

The tragic love story tells the tale of Dido and Aeneas, who meet and fall in love even though Fate has decreed that Aeneas must start a new nation and has to leave the queen.

“The students bring an incredible energy and such a great willingness to learn,” Tramm said.

Opera is a collaborative art form and is the result of many different minds working together, according to Tramm.

“The best part of this whole production is the combining of the music, theater and communication departments with the professional world that allows for a great opportunity for students and pulls the whole show together,” Tramm said.

Rebecca White can be reached at

Author: Rebecca White

Rebecca White is from Orange County, California and is a senior majoring in Communication. She started out as the Pirate Life Copy Editor her sophomore year, worked her way up to Assistant Pirate Life Editor her junior year, and enters her senior year as Pirate Life Editor. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester and will graduate a semester early in December 2016. During her time at Seton Hall she has interned for CNBC and, an entertainment site where she coordinates the celebrity interviews. She aspires to be a novelist while working in the publishing industry, either as a book editor or magazine editor.

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