What’s love got to do with it? Well, in this case—everything—as the West Virginia University Opera Theatre program presents four glimpses of this madness called “love” in a special musical event Feb. 2-5 at the Creative Arts Center.
Performances in the Antoinette Falbo Theatre will be held at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 2-4. There will also be a matinee performance Sunday, Feb. 5, at 3:15 p.m.
On Feb. 2 and 4, the one-act operas presented will be Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Trial by Jury” and Leonard Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti.”
On Feb. 3 and 5, the program will present Milton Granger’s one-act operas “The Proposal” and “Test Tube.”
Granger will attend Sunday’s matinee and the College of Creative Arts will hold a reception for him in the lobby of the Antoinette Falbo Theatre, following the performance.
All the performances will also feature the WVU Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mitchell Arnold, WVU director of orchestral studies, on Wednesday and Saturday, and by Thieme on Friday and Sunday.
Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Trial by Jury” is a comic opera that was first produced in 1875. It takes place in a courtroom and concerns a “breach of promise of marriage” lawsuit in which the judge and legal system are the objects of lighthearted satire. Voice professor William Koehler will be directing this opera, as well as singing the role of The Usher. Voice professor Nicholas Perna will sing the role of The Defendant.
Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti” received its first performance in 1953 and the story depicts the disenchantment of a woman with her husband, who is more interested in his career and hobbies than in his family. Theatre professor Lee Blair is the choreographer for this performance.
Granger’s “The Proposal,” which premiered in 1987, is a contemporary, comic opera about a woman who receives a proposal of marriage and discusses it with her five alter egos.
“Test Tube,” which premiered in 1993, is a fast-paced comedy about video dating services. Part of the opera is pre-recorded on video, which first alternates, then coordinates, with live action. The WVU performance is being directed by doctoral graduate student Cynthia Ortiz.
Music students who will be singing in the various operas include:
“Trouble in Tahiti”—Jennifer Berkebile, Joshua Stubbs, Callie Merz, Michael Hamm and Sam Viggiano.
“Trial by Jury”—Winston Sullivan, Samantha DeStefano, Aaron Scarberry, Sam Viggiano, Devan Belaguer, Chelsea Carmella, Nicoletta Ciampa, Katti Grosso, Julie Kremm, Sharon Lankford, Amanda Majocha, Callie Merz, Terri Parlett, Sarah Plata, Mary Beth Withers, Alex Anderson, Konrad Geiser and Dallas Wright.
“Test Tube”—Joshua Stubbs, Sarah Nale, Julie Kremm, Mary Beth Withers and Jennifer Berkebile.
“The Proposal”—Cynthia Ortiz, Callie Merz, Sharon Lankford, Sarah Plata, Samantha DeStefano and Nicoletta Ciampa.
Milton Granger is a noted pianist, conductor and award-winning composer, lyricist and librettist of six chamber operas, two children’s musicals and several musical plays. Among his operas—all of which of have been produced several times throughout the United States—are “Uncharted Waters” and “Talk Opera,” both first-place winners in the National Opera Association’s new opera competition. His children’s musical, “Peter Rabbit and the Garden of Doom,” just won the Actors’ Playhouse (Coral Gables) annual competition, and his musical play “Bronze Mirror” is a finalist in this year’s Manhattan Theatre Mission festival. He is currently assistant conductor of “Mary Poppins” on Broadway.
Tickets for “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” are $10 for the general public, $6 for senior citizens, $5 for WVU faculty, staff and students (with ID). The group rate, for groups of ten or more, is also $5 per ticket.
For tickets and information, call the WVU Box Office at 304-293-SHOW (7469).
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