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UMFA: Fall Chamber Music Series Opens Sept. 10 with Opera

Salt Lake City –The fall season of an innovative series pairing musical performances with visual art at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) kicks off at 7 p.m., Wednesday, September 10, with an ambitious, and uniquely intimate, opera performance in the Museum’s G. W. Anderson Family Great Hall. The UMFA’s Chamber Music Series, presented in collaboration with students in the University of Utah’s School of Music, is free and open to the public.

In the season opener, soprano Olivia Custodio will perform Francis Polenc’s 1958 short opera La voix humaine, with Paul Dorgan accompanying on piano. The story follows a woman as she speaks on the telephone with her (invisible and inaudible) departing lover, who is leaving her to marry another woman. The telephone proved to be the perfect prop for librettist Jean Cocteau to explore his ideas, feelings, and “algebra” concerning human needs and realities in communication. The performance will be directed by Lucas Goodrich, who recently completed the doctor of musical arts degree in vocal performance and stage direction and is currently a voice instructor in the Department of Theatre.

Three artworks from the UMFA’s permanent collection—G. K. Benda’s Mistinguett, Pierre Sulmon’s Nu, and Bust of a Young Woman of Fashion (artist unknown)—will be installed temporarily in the Great Hall for a special viewing during this performance only.

The Chamber Music Series pairs musical talents with artworks on display in the UMFA galleries for a multisensory experience. Listeners are invited to peruse the galleries during the performances; printed programs suggest pairings of compositions and art for contemplation, enhancing viewers’ experiences of both artistic forms.

The series continues at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 8, and Wednesday, December 10. Visit for more information.


The UMFA, located on the South Campus of the University of Utah, is easily accessible by car from Foothill Drive—free and paid parking is available adjacent to the Museum—and by Trax. The UMFA is located only a short walk northwest of the University South Campus stop on the University (red) line.