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Off to the Opera.
LC Music presents two operas the weekend of Feb. 4-7.
Opera. Not just for opera fans any more.
Reflecting the growing trend of operas that are as much theater as they are, well, opera, the LC Department of Music will perform two operas this weekend - each promising to entertain even the least-experienced opera goer.
In both "The Impresario," a comedy written by W.A. Mozart and "The Old Maid and the Thief," an American drama by Gian Carlo Menotti, those attending may find themselves drawn into the story line as much as the music, especially since both operas will be performed in English.
"If it's done right, it's good theater," Dr. Loryn Frey, the director of both operas said. "Even the Met (Metropolitan Opera in New York), there have been changes there. They've been hiring theater directors with little or no background in opera whatsoever to bring in some more of the theatrical touches as well as theatrical groups."
Both operas will include three of the same singers. In The Impresario, cast members include: Benjamin Swain as Impresario Scruples, an older man just looking to retire to his farm; soprano, Kameryn Lueng as Madame Goldentrill, a young "starlet"; and soprano, Juliana Wimberly-Handy, as Miss Silverpeal, an aging performer. The age difference between the two sopranos leads to plenty of clashes and makes for what Frey called "a silly comedy."
In "The Old Maid and the Thief," Wimberly-Handy plays Miss Todd, the old maid who falls for a good-looking hobo played Swain. Bob, The Wanderer, soon has the older woman falling for him to the point she abandons all sense and reputation to chase her fantasy-filled imagination. Lueng plays the role of Laetitia, Miss Todd’s maid, and Dr. Frey, herself, fills the final role as Miss Pinkerton, Miss Todd’s spinster neighbor whose tale-bearing plays no small role in the story's outcome.
In serving the major roles in both productions, Handy, Swain and Lueng show the talents and voices which have taken them all the way to national competitions.
"They're fantastic," Frey said of her three student singers. "They're all gifted vocally and they work hard."
Rounding out the operas - Andrew Hunter who serves as conductor, Mei-En Chou and Daniel Hill as pianists, and Ross Schexnayder who designed the set.
Opening night is Thursday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Martin Performing Arts Center (MPAC). Additional show dates/times are Friday and Saturday, Feb. 5-6 at 7:30 p.m. and one matinee performance on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 2:30 p.m.
Ticket prices for performances are: Adults-$10, Students-$5, LC Students, Faculty and Staff-$2. Reservations can be made by calling the LC Department of Music office at 487-7336. Tickets will also be available at the door.
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