Think opera is stuffy and formal? You might be surprised, says Anne Christopherson, associate professor of voice at UND.

Events she's planning for Saturday and Sunday will feature faculty and student members of the UND opera program.

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Christopherson is encouraging opera-lovers-and those who've never experienced opera-to attend the performance at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hughes Fine Arts Center.

Dubbed "Party @ the Hughes," the event will feature soloists and choruses giving "lively performances of a lot of different songs," Christopherson said.

"It's meant to be funny, and a little silly," she said. "The students have created their own characters."

And another character, inspired by Prince Orlofsky of the "Die Fledermaus" opera, will close the program with a "surprise" that she didn't want to ruin by sharing details, she said.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for seniors, $14 for a family of four and free for current military with a military ID.

At 3 p.m. Sunday in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, a fundraising event for UND's opera program will feature music from well-known operas and musical theater.

"It's a wide, eclectic mix," Christopherson said.

Guest singer Ryan King will perform an aria from "I Puritani," by Bellini. King, a Central High School and UND alumnus who earned a master's degree in voice at California State University, Long Beach, is music director of Christus Rex Lutheran Campus Center here.

Accompanying the students on piano will be Christopherson. Royce Blackburn, associate professor of music, will sing.

Student singers are: Maria Draper, Bethany Fehr, David Fehr, Maxell McCann, Kalli Sonnenburg, Michael Thompson and Kryston Wiseley.

A silent auction with a variety of items will be available for bidding.

There's no cost to attend, but free will donations are appreciated, Christopherson said.

For more information, call her at (701) 777-2835.