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April 1, 2024

From romantics to classics to works of today

MSU Music wraps West Circle Series with a Centennial of Classics.

The final West Circle Series concert of the season will highlight the MSU College of Music’s Vocal Arts area with works by composers Giacomo Puccini, Gabriel Fauré, and Victory Herbert.

Vocal artists from the MSU College of Music will honor the work of three incomparable composers in the 100th year since their respective passings. "Con Amore: Puccini and More" —the final event in the 2024 Joanne and Bill Church West Circle Series season—will be held on Monday, April 8, 7:30 p.m., in the Fairchild Theater.

"Con Amore: Puccini and More" commemorates the music of three remarkable composers who helped shape the future of classical voice and operatic works: Giacomo Puccini of Italy, Gabriel Fauré of France, and Victory Herbert of the United States. These influential giants bridged the Romantic Era with the rise of the modern Classical Era and left an indelible mark with songs that are still celebrated today. Marking the 100th anniversary year of their passing, the composers will be honored by vocal artists from the College of Music faculty in a concert that explores some of their greatest operatic works and arias. Artists include Jane Bunnell, mezzo-soprano; Marc Embree, bass-baritone; Richard Fracker, tenor; Melanie Helton, soprano; Anne Nispel, soprano; Mark Rucker, baritone; with piano accompanists Sadie Rucker and Elden Little.

“We are excited to present this delightful program that highlights the music of these legendary composers,” says mezzo-soprano Jane Bunnell, MSU professor of voice. “For patrons of the vocal arts, we are presenting a variety of powerful arias and duets throughout the concert, and we are honored to celebrate this music with them.”

Highlights of the program include Puccini’s “Nessun dorma” from "Turandot" and popular selections from "La Bohème," Fauré’s lovely song “Ici-bas,” and a variety of charming melodies by Victor Herbert.

Joanne and Bill Church are the title sponsors of the West Circle Series and are joined by concert sponsors Dr. Roy and Christine Meland.

Reserved seating for this season’s final concert in the Joanne and Bill Church West Circle Series are $17 for adults, $15 for seniors (age 60 and older), and $7 for students and those under 18 with valid ID, and can be purchased online (, by calling (517) 353-5340, or at the door. More information on these and other events in the 2023-24 Season of Music can be found at

This release originally appeared on the College of Music website. 

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