UB to present opera by faculty member Tiffany Skidmore

Published March 1, 2024

The Department of Music will present “the golden ass,” a chamber opera in one act by UB faculty member Tiffany M. Skidmore March 13 and 14 in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, North Campis.

An abstract setting of the Cupid/Psyche myth, the performance features guest artist Nina Dante as Psyche; Tiffany Du Mouchelle as Venus; guest artists Adam Zahller as Cupid and Justin Anthony Spenner as Father; the Slee Sinfonietta under the direction of guest conductor David Cubek; and a chorus of UB student performers.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster (March 13) and (March 14), at the Center for the Arts box office from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and at the Slee Hall box office an hour before the performance. UB students with a valid ID can obtain one complimentary ticket, which they can pick up right before the performance.

“The golden ass” (2017-20) is a modern setting of the Cupid/Psyche myth that focuses primarily on the relationship between Psyche and her jealous mother-in-law, Venus, and their relationships to society.

The opera was featured as part of the Ipse New Music Gallery and was developed with a competitive award from the Jerome Fund for New Music, a McKnight Fellowship for Composers and a grant from the American Composers Forum.

In a 2018 interview, Skidmore, visiting associate professor and Birge-Cary Chair in Music Composition, explained that she decided to work on a new version of “the golden ass” that had “a significant focus on psychological aspects of Psyche’s experiences of traumatic events and her relationships with the other characters of the story — particularly as those characters age and power dynamics begin to shift.”