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Music Theatre to Present Opera Scenes

November 9, 2012

The public is invited to attend the performance, and tickets will be sold at the door for $5 each. OBU students receive free admission with their student ID. Refreshments will be available during intermission.

"From the ridiculous to the sublime, (the) program features scenes that explore the various stages of the complicated emotion we call love," said Dr. Mark McQuade, OBU assistant professor of music and coordinator of vocal studies.

The first three scenes are the culminating performances of the work done this semester by students enrolled in the Music Theatre I course. They include pieces from "Der Freischütz" by Carl Maria von Weber; "Eugene Onégin" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; and "The Rape of Lucretia" by Benjamin Britten.

"Der Freischütz" is Weber's most popular and lasting stage work and was, by far, the most popular German opera of its generation, claimed Sadie Stanley, author of "The New Grove Book of Operas."

The cast of the "Der Freischütz" includes Tamara Snow, a sophomore vocal performance major from Shawnee, Okla., and Elizabeth Youngblood, a junior vocal performance major from Midwest City, Okla. Breana White, a junior vocal performance major from Broken Arrow, Okla. is the student director.

"The Russian nationalistic opera, 'Eugene Onégin', tells the story of a pair of star-crossed lovers: Olga and Lenski, and Tatyana and Onégin," McQuade said. "As the opera unfolds, we see young Olga and Lenski seemingly on their way to a long and happy romance, but as fate would have it, their love is tragically cut short."

The cast of "Eugene Onégin" includes White; Ariel Hawkins, a sophomore vocal music education major from Oklahoma City; Melanie Clanton, a sophomore vocal music education major from Fort Smith, Ark.; Michelle Compton, a senior music major from Weatherford, Okla.; Benjamin Hopkins, a sophomore vocal performance major from Pawhuska, Okla.; and Daniel Etherington, a freshman art major from Oklahoma City.

"The Rape of Lucretia" is based on the style of Greek tragedy with a male and female chorus (both roles sung by individuals) who comment on the action and move the plot along through their commentaries, McQuade said. He noted the chamber opera is a rarity among Britten's operatic output in that it gives the central role to a female.

The cast of "The Rape of Lucretia" includes Compton; Hawkins; Bailee Rogers, a sophomore vocal performance major from Bixby, Okla.; and Joy Knight, a senior voice and English double major from North Richland Hills, Texas. The students will be accompanied on the piano by Dr. Keith Whitmore, assistant professor of music.

The final opera of the evening is "Fortune's Favorites" by Seymour Barab. The performance is an example of a farce, a light dramatic work in which highly improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters, and often slapstick elements are used for humorous effect.

The cast of "Fortune's Favorites" includes White; Hopkins; and Knight. The students will be accompanied by Sadie Elliot, a sophomore piano performance major from Oklahoma City.