Friday, April 17, 2009

Opera Workshop Goes to the Circus

Continuing their emphasis on the comic from their March concert, the students of the HSU Opera Workshop perform a new program on Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18 in Fulkerson Recital Hall.

The concert starts off with scenes from four different operas, directed by HSU Music professor Elisabeth Harrington.

“Sour Angelica” is part of a one act opera by Giacomo Puccini, set in a convent and featuring an exclusively female cast.

After Puccini, why not Donizetti? But this time, it’s two male singers in a comic duet from the opera “Don Pasquale.”

A duet and dance routine from Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene” is followed by the opening scene of “Ruddigore,” an outlandish comedy by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Pianist John Chernoff is the accompanist for these four scenes.

The children’s opera, “Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing” by Malcolm Fox comprises the second half of the concert. “We did two scenes from this opera in the fall, and now we’re doing the whole show,” Elisabeth Harrington said. “It’s a comic, kid-friendly piece about a serpent who is frustrated with his job of slithering in the circus. He decides to become a singer, and leaves the circus to pursue his dream of finding his voice.”

Recent HSU graduate Kirsten Randrup will direct the children’s opera, with student Jonathan Webster accompanying on piano.

The HSU Opera Workshop performs on Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18 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.

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