West Virginia University’s Opera on Wheels program will kick off this year’s tour with two free performances of “Mystery on the Docks” at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10, in the Atoinette Falbo Theatre of the Creative Arts Center. The performances are free and open to the public.
Conceived for kids from kindergarten to sixth grade, the musical tale follows two mean-looking rats as they kidnap heroic diner owner Ralph and world-famous opera diva Edwina Bombastina. The opera is based on the award-winning book by Thacher Hurd with music by Edward Barnes.
“In April 2015 we took a shortened version of�’Hansel and Gretel’ to a dozen elementary schools in Monongalia County,” she said. “In advance of the performances each school is sent educational materials regarding the music and story they will be hearing, as well as some fun projects related to the story and to classical music and singing. Our show is approximately 50 minutes long and is performed in a school’s gymnasium or cafeteria.”
This year the troupe will tour to Wood and Mason counties, funded by a generous grant from the Parkersburg Foundation. They will also perform for 500 elementary students at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston on May 9.
“We are very excited to bring Opera on Wheels to counties throughout West Virginia,” she said. “I have developed similar programs in the past at Western Illinois University and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. However, the feedback and enthusiasm we received this past April in Monongalia County far exceeded our expectations.� We believe we have tapped into an interest and need in our community and we would love to expand that to other parts of West Virginia.”
The cast includes around a dozen voice students from the school of music, accompanied by Youna Choi and Giuliana Contreras. James Kenon Mitchell served as music director, and Kreider directed the staging.
CONTACT: David Welsh, WVU College of Creative Arts
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