Department of Music - College of Liberal Arts - Texas A&M University Corpus Christi


Pinocchio image

The TAMU-CC Opera Workshop Presents an Opera for All Ages: “Pinocchio”

Music of Mozart, updated story by Denise Page Caraher

Thursday, April 4 –7:30 pm

Friday, April 5 –7:30 pm

Performing Arts Center


The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Opera Workshop is proud to present an opera performance of “Pinocchio” on Thursday, April 4, and Friday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. The performance, combining music from Mozart’s operas with an updated story by Denise Page Caraher, will be directed by Dr. Ellen Denham and conducted by Dr. Jose Flores.  “Pinocchio” a modern fairy tale for all ages, delights audiences with some of Mozart’s most beautiful music, a positive message about honesty, lots of laughs, and a few surprises!  Tickets are available at the door: $10 adults, $8 seniors, $5 students and military with proper ID. For more information, call 361.825.3516.

Director's Notes      Story Background      Performer Bios

Director's Notes

Who doesn't love a good fairy tale? Pinocchio truly has something for everyone.  First, the classic story presents a wonderful message with warmth, humor, and modern-day updates to keep it fresh and fun for today's audiences.  Denise Page Caraher, who adapted the story and created new lyrics to Mozart's beautiful music, has really hit it out of the park with this one.  Beautiful music from Mozart's operas fits the familiar characters in surprising ways.  For instance, music composed for the Basilio, the self-important singing teacher from The Marriage of Figaro, works equally well for Conscience Cricket, who means to help Pinocchio, but also goes off on tangents about mistreatment of insects.  The arias of Despina, the shrewd and opinionated maid in Cosi fan tutte, can also give voice to the bubbly Blue Fairy.  

Pinocchio starts out knowing nothing, but audiences can enjoy watching his growth and the decisions he makes in his quest to become a real boy.  Come learn and laugh along with him and a cast of familiar characters!

Story Background

The original story of The Adventures of Pinocchio was written by Carlo Collodi and first published in 1881.  It is not a tale that might be considered suitable for children today--the puppet Pinocchio was a disobedient child who suffered bad consequences for his naughtiness, designed to frighten children into being good.  Like many fairy tales, when translated into a Disney film in 1940, Pinocchio had a lighter tone and a positive message for children.  

Performer Bios

More bios coming soon!


Skylyn Bennett (Ensemble, Cricket & Fairy Understudy) is a second year voice major at TAMUCC. This is her second semester involved in Opera Workshop; she is a voice student of Dr. Denham. She also performs with University Singers. Skylyn is a soprano and has earned medals in the past for the UIL State Solo and Ensemble competition. In high school she choreographed a dance and taught it to all of the students for Spring Show. In the future Skylyn hopes to become a singer/songwriter and an excellent performer.



Jordan Kuzmack (Gepetto)is from Austin, Texas and is currently a sophomore music education major at TAMUCC with emphasis on early childhood music studies. Previous Opera Workshops include Hansel and Gretel as he was a part of the ensemble and Pinstripe Harry's Tearoom Cabaret where he played Ace. Current ensembles include TAMUCC’s chamber choir, Camerata Isla and Opera Workshop. Jordan is also the music director for Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity. He is a voice student of Dr. Ross Bernhardt.


Joy Puumala (Cricket) is a voice major in her second year at TAMUCC. Last year Joy performed solo for the first time ever on stage for our biannual voice studio recitals. Joy is actively involved on campus in the Honors Program, University Singers, and the Islander Jazz Band. Joy has previously performed and competed at the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition in Temple, Texas. Joy performed in her first opera ever last semester, Pinstripe Harry's Tearoom Cabaret. Joy’s goals are to become a gospel singer/songwriter and successful composer. Joy is a voice student of Dr. Ellen Denham.


Sapphire Rodriguez (Ensemble/Pinocchio Understudy) is a transfer voice student who has been enjoying her first year at TAMUCC. Sapphire will make her Opera debut in Pinocchio. She also performs with the Camerata Isla. Someday, she wants to be a choir director who inspires her students to follow their passion regardless of what it is. She is a voice student of Dr. Hope Thacker.

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