Friday, November 07, 2008

Lighten Your Heart with the HSU Opera Workshop

For those who think of opera as only “operatic” melodrama involving tragic Europeans of a bygone age, the HSU Opera Workshop has a couple of surprises for its upcoming performances on Friday and Saturday, November 7 and 8.

The student workshop will perform a one-act opera by contemporary American composer Milton Granger, called “The Proposal:” When a young woman receives a marriage proposal, she debates what she should do with five figures who represent different parts of her own personality.

“Though its mostly light-hearted,” said Elisabeth Harrington, teacher and director of the workshop for the HSU Department of Music, “the opera touches on important issues women—and men—must face when choosing whether to enter into a serious relationship.”

Jamie Banister plays the young woman who splits into five aspects of her psyche: Katherine Kinley as her “Statue of Liberty,” Jerilyn Gashi as her inner Security Officer, Lindsey Tewksbury as her five-year old self, Sarah Benzinger as her “Mother Theresa”, and Sara Scibetta as her Sensual self.

In an even more light-hearted vein, the Workshop begins with scenes from "Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing," an opera for children by another contemporary American composer, Malcolm Fox.

In this comic romp, Sid is a serpent who performs as part of a circus quartet, but longs for deeper artistic fulfillment. Chris Hatcher plays Sid, James Murphy is the Strong Man, Brandy Rose is the Clown, Molly Severdia is the Juggler and Jessica Malone is the expert opera teacher Sid consults.

The Opera Workshop performs on Friday and Saturday, November 7 and 8, at 8 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $7 general, $3 students/seniors, from the HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Free to HSU students with ID.

Media: Arcata Eye, Humboldt State Now.

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