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  • The Bolton News


Opera Mississippi presents “La voce d’angelo” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 14, 2022 and an Opera Happy Hour beginning at 6:00pm at Duling Hall, 622 Duling Ave. The fifth installment of the Duling Hall Cabaret Series sponsored by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi stars Betsy Uschkrat, soprano, and Michael Bunchman, piano. Tickets may be ordered online at for $30. Remaining tickets will be on sale at the door for $35.

“La voce d'angelo”' celebrates the centennial birthday of one of the greatest operatic voices of all time, Renata Tebaldi, who performed with Opera Mississippi during its 28th season in 1973! “We are so excited to honor this legendary singer. I hope that our current and new patrons will join us for Opera Happy Hour, enjoy a special cocktail in honor of Ms. Tebaldi, and then experience some of the most powerful music they’ve ever heard!” “Renata Tebaldi was deemed ‘the voice of an angel’ by the great Italian conductor Toscanini and her career spanned over 30 years,” says New Orleans based guest soprano, Dr. Betsy Uskrat. “In our concert, you’ll experience the music and stories of her life: Beginning with her difficult childhood to her infamous rivalry with another operatic legend Maria Callas, Tebaldi is a life celebrated both in her time and still today, one hundred years later!”

Known for her impressive vocal range and artistic versatility, soprano Betsy Uschkrat continues to enthrall audiences across the United States with companies such as New Orleans Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Shreveport Opera, Opera Idaho, Pensacola Opera, and Opéra Louisian. Audiences have adored her performances of classical, musical theatre, and the great American Songbook repertoire. The New Orleans Times-Picayune describes her as a “vocal powerhouse,” and her roles include Pamina in Die Zauberflüte, Sharon in Masterclass, Julie Jordan in Carousel, Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and title roles in Manon, Susannah, Romeo et Juliette, and L’elisir d'amore. Dr. Ushkrat currently serves at Musical Theatre Voice Instructor at Loyola University in New Orleans.

Dr. Ushkrat will be joined by collaborative pianist Dr. Michael Bunchman who maintains an active performance schedule with numerous singers, musicians, and chamber ensembles across the United States. As the Director of the Collaborative Piano Program at the University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Bunchman mentors the next generation of collaborative pianists and regularly conducts collaborative masterclasses around the US. He has spent five seasons as a principal coach and pianist for Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater and has held appointments with the Natchez Festival of Music and Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra. Bunchman regularly collaborates and performs with companies such as Opera Mississippi, Santa Barbara Opera, Opera Saratoga, the Princeton Festival and El Paso Opera, Ridgefield Symphony, Breckenridge Music Festival, Antara Ensemble in New York City, the Utah Festival Opera Orchestra, and the National Repertory Orchestra. And he had the honor of performing with “A Prairie Home Companion,” hosted by Garrison Keillor, on their multi-city European cruise. For more information on tickets to this and the entire Opera Mississippi season, visit or call 601.960.2300. DULING HALL COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOL: Effective August 30, 2021, for the health and safety of our patrons, staff, and artists, entry to Duling Hall will require either proof of a full course COVID-19 vaccination, with their final dose at least fourteen days prior to the event or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken in the prior 72 hours. Accommodating this temporary policy will allow artists to earn a living, our staff to be employed, and live music to have a place in society again. We will keep everyone posted on any changes moving forward.



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