Heartland Opera to Showcase Puccini Double Bill

By David Salazar

Heartland Opera is set to showcase a double bill of “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi” on March 6-8 at the Joplin Memorial Hall in Joplin, Missouri.

The double bill will feature Kelli Van Meter as Suor Angelica and Kayla Siembieda as La Zia Principessa in the first of the two Puccini operas. In the famed comedy, audiences will see Christian Bester in the title role, Sarah Kuhlmann as Lauretta and Stephen Ash as Rinuccio. The production will be directed and designed by Rachel Harris with Tim Kennedy designing the costumes.

Conductor Andy Anderson will make his company debut in leading the musical forces.

“Heartland Opera Theater’s location gives the organization quite an advantage. The company can use the Missouri/Kansas/Oklahoma/Arkansas areas for audience development, and can also draw upon the rich cultural heritage of this region to recruit artists,” Anderson stated in a press release. “This double bill of ‘Suor Angelica’ and ‘Gianni Schicchi’ will be one of the largest physical productions in the company’s history. We have artists from NYC, Kansas City, Little Rock, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and of course, Joplin. Heartland Opera Theater is a small company with a HUGE passion for opera!”