May 10, 2021

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UM Opera Theatre Presents Fresh new Approaches to Two Classics

4 min read
UM Opera Theatre director Julia Aubrey (suitable) addresses pupil performers throughout a rehearsal in the Ford Heart. Photo by Jiaxuan Zhu

“From the Satisfied to Broadway and Again Again” is more than just an invitation. It is an chance for anyone craving a exclusive and unanticipated live songs and theater practical experience.

For the 1st time, the University of Mississippi Opera Theatre’s yearly spring generation will consist of condensed versions of two well-known operas, Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and “The Abduction from the Seraglio.” It also will characteristic a retelling of the Cinderella tale with initial dialogue and very well-regarded alternatives from opera and musical theater, which includes Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods,” Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” and Massenet’s “Cendrillon.” 

The manufacturing of “From the Fulfilled to Broadway and Again Again” will aspect unique hourlong courses just about every day. It is established for 7:30 p.m. Saturday (April 17) and 3 p.m. Sunday (April 18) in the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. 

Julia Aubrey, associate professor of tunes and the director of the UM Opera Theatre, is passionate about integrating opera and musical theater. This spring, she has taken a new technique that presents audiences a exceptional prospect to see two operas and a mash-up of popular scenes from musical theater and opera.

“I have often put together pieces of operas and musicals with equivalent tales to make what I connect with a pastiche, but this is the initial time that I’ve performed that with these Mozart operas,” she claimed. 

Abi Thomas, a freshman from Madison, is taking part in the part of Cinderella in Aubrey’s “Cinderella Story” pastiche. Discovering her first position throughout a pandemic has been difficult, but Thomas said she is energized about accomplishing a pastiche in entrance of a are living viewers.

“It’s challenging performing with other people onstage, considering that we have to socially length ourselves,” Thomas explained. “But I am genuinely on the lookout forward to performing and entertaining an even bigger audience than before. 

“If we can enjoy the stories that we’re telling this semester, then I’m specific the audience will get pleasure from them just as significantly – potentially much more!”

“The Cinderella Story” will be showcased on Saturday, along with Aubrey’s condensed variation of “The Magic Flute.” The Sunday demonstrate will element Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio.”

Doing in a complete-duration production is vital in the advancement of a university student artist, so beneath regular instances, UM Opera Theatre produces a single complete-size operatic manufacturing every single spring. But with COVID protocols necessitating the ensemble to choose wellbeing actions, Aubrey was impressed to generate two condensed operas. 

“I desired to fulfill our require to build complete items with continuity considering the fact that we could not do a whole manufacturing this 12 months,” she mentioned, describing that interpreting a character across a story arc is an crucial talent for establishing singers.

“I needed to provide college students a probability to conduct incredibly standard performs, just dealt with in a distinctive way.”

Like her pastiche, Aubrey manufactured the condensed operas by choosing well-liked scenes, then adding spoken English dialogue to hyperlink the scenes and aid explain to just about every tale. 

Jiaxuan Zhu, a graduate pupil from China participating in the position of Papageno in “The Magic Flute,” stated what tends to make each and every condensed Mozart creation so unique. 

“‘Abduction’ is more like a full story, even though each unique scene of ‘The Magic Flute’ is a tale inside alone,” he mentioned.

Zhu sees this plan as a chance to go away audiences coming again for extra: “If you want to see a movie, do you enjoy a trailer first? Which is what these minor operas are.” 

He hopes the condensed operas will ignite a spark that encourages audiences to look at the total-duration productions one particular working day.

Equally reveals also contain chosen scenes for solo singers. 

“These are some of my favourite scenes in musical theater and opera,” stated Aubrey, who chose parts that suit very well with the talents and personalities of the singers, and that allowed performers to maintain acceptable distancing onstage.

Noting that audiences are in some cases put off by the language barrier or stay away from seeing opera since of lengthy demonstrates and sophisticated plots, Aubrey strives to make the encounter as accessible as probable, noting that she thinks that opera is for anyone. Supertitles translate all the overseas-language scenes, for case in point, and the condensed size delivers all the critical plot and character information and facts in a great deal less time. 

“This is a terrific introduction to an individual who does not know opera and doesn’t consider that they will be in a position to observe,” she stated. “We get to demonstrate that, certainly, you can, just acquire a opportunity and appear!”

Tickets are $5 and are out there at the Ole Pass up Box Office environment, on line at https://olemissboxoffice.com/ or phone 662-915-7411. Social distancing will be noticed and masks are necessary for entry. 


By Maddi Jolley

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