Oklahoma Baptist University’s Division of Music presents, “Laugh It Is: An Evening of Fun and Laughter,” Feb. 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Yarborough Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.
The performances are under the direction of Dr. Louima Lilite, associate professor of music.
“Audience members should expect to re-examine preconceived notions of what opera is,” Lilite said. “They will be privileged to see real humans displaying real emotions in front of real people.”
The night will feature scenes from renowned operas, “Signor Deluso,” “Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters” and “Cosi fan tutte.”
“Three works will be presented in English, so the storytelling can be accessible to all ages and backgrounds,” he said. “In the case of this particular show, they should come prepared to laugh a whole lot.”
“Signor Deluso” features a series of misunderstandings that cause the households of Gorgibus and Deluso to question each other’s faithfulness. Signor Deluso and his wife accuse each other of infidelity, while Célie refuses her arranged marriage in hopes that her lover, Léon, will return from Paris. After one poorly-timed encounter after another, the situation worsens, leaving everyone at their wits’ end. This story begs the question: should you believe everything you see?
This scene features Marlee Tate, junior vocal performance major, as Celie; Bryson Cunningham, junior cross-cultural ministry and math major, as Gorgibus and Town Magistrate; Sydney Mathews, senior vocal performance major, as Clara; Tommy Peercy, junior worship arts major, as Leon; Jackson Muscgrove, freshman vocal performance major, as Signor Deluso; and Makalah Jessup, sophomore vocal music education major, as Rosine.
“Cosi fan tutte” stars Guglielmo and Ferrando who are convinced that their fiancées, Fiordilligi and Dorabella, will always be faithful to them. Their friend Don Alfonso is convinced that all women are fickle and even bets that he can make their lovers cheat on them in less than 24 hours. Together, Ferrando, Guglielmo and Despina, the girls’ maid, follow Don Alfonso’s plan to woo the girls. Will the women fall for the handsome “strangers” as the title of the opera (“All Women are Like That”) suggests?
This scene features Raelyn Williamson, sophomore worship studies major, as Dorabella; Anna Aguayo, junior vocal music education major, as Fiodilligi; Chase Davis, sophomore vocal performance major, as Don Alfonso; Jude Balthazar, senior vocal performance major, as Ferrando; Kalyne Henrichsen, junior psychology pre-counseling major, as Despina; and Bryson Cunningham, junior cross-cultural ministry and math major, as Guglielmo.
“Three Sisters Who are Not Sisters” is a comedic opera in three acts. It begins with young children in the 1920’s who decide to play a game that later turns murderous. It’s a classic who-dun-it with a musical twist.
This scene features Joel Tetmeyer, sophomore vocal music education major; Harmony Dewees, sophomore vocal performance major; Sarah Smith, sophomore vocal music education major; Nathan Henager, freshman worship studies major; Monica Stiffler, sophomore vocal music education major; and Alethea-Jade Coffey, freshman worship studies major.
Lilite is excited for the production and how it will benefit the students.
“Those participating in this show are given an outlet to use the human voice -- seen as one of the most primal and inspiring musical instruments on earth -- to excel in storytelling,” he said. “They mature in their artistry since the preparation process combines exquisite music making with acting, daily coaching sessions, nightly rehearsals, movement and fitness, stagecraft, make-up, costumes, lighting, and more. Our voice students have shared how much respect they’ve gained for composers who lived centuries ago and made such fine art without today’s niceties and resources.”
He notes that audiences are in for an eye-opening experience with this performance.
“Audience members should expect to re-examine preconceived notions of what opera is,” he said. “They will be privileged to see real humans displaying real emotions in front of real people. Three works will be presented in English so the storytelling can be accessible to all ages and backgrounds. In the case of this particular show, the audience should come prepared to laugh a whole lot.”
“Laugh It Is,” is free to the public. It begins at 7:30 p.m. and each work is 24-28 minutes long.
To learn more, visit the Division of Music at OBU.