Bowling Green Opera Theater stages double bill

BOWLING GREEN, O.—The Opera Theater at Bowling Green State University's College of Musical Arts will present Franz Joseph Haydn's “La Canterina” and Henry Purcell's “Dido and Aeneas” at 8 p.m. Friday (Nov. 3) and 3 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 5) in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

“La Canterina” is a short, two-act comic opera featuring a clever plot, humorous characters, fast-paced action and dramatic music. The opera will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

The cast of “La Canterina” features graduate voice students Joan Cano, from the Philippines, as Gasparina and Leslie Douglas of Westland, Mich., as her mother, Apollonia. Senior vocal performance major Josh Hamilton of Cleves appears as Don Pellagio, and Jacob Wilder, a junior vocal performance major from Van Wert, is the singing teacher. Senior Kathryn (Kate) Gibson of Deshler will be seen as the young boy Don Ettore.

“Dido and Aeneas,” based on a story from the fourth book of Virgil's “Aeneid,” depicts the tragic tale of the Queen of Carthage. The work, to be sung in English, is considered the first English opera ever composed.

Graduate vocal performance major Courtney Cleveland of Louisville, Ky., will portray Dido, while Andrew Cook-Feltz, a graduate vocal performance major from Coralville, Iowa, will be seen in the role of Aeneas.

Katherine Liesner, a senior music education major from Massillon, appears as Belinda and Elizabeth Hanson, a graduate music education major from Loveland, is the second woman. Sarah Flammer, a senior vocal performance major from Commerce, Mich., portrays the sorceress.

Kimberly Bright, a graduate voice student from Gasport, N.Y.; Margaret Davis, a graduate vocal performance major from Sherwood, and Alana Kolb, a senior vocal performance from Tallmadge, are the witches. Blake Bard, a senior vocal performance major from Columbia, portrays the sailor.

The Bowling Green Opera Theater production is directed by Dr. Ronald E. Shields, a professor and chair of the University's Department of Theatre and Film. Emily Freeman Brown, director of orchestral activities, and Octavio Mas Arocas, a doctoral music student from Spain, will conduct members of the Bowling Green Philharmonia. Deborah Tell, an associate professor of dance, serves as choreographer and Kevin Bylsma, instructor of opera, is the vocal coach/chorus master.

Steven Boone, a professor in the theatre and film department, is the set designer for “La Canterina.” The centerpiece of the set for “Dido and Aeneas” is installation pieces made of steel and wood by Greg Mueller, an instructor in the School of Art.

Costumes for “La Canterina” were designed by Laurel Daman, costume shop supervisor for the theatre and film department, and costumes for “Dido and Aeneas” are by Margaret McCubbin, an associate professor in the department. Lighting design is by Keith Hijacker, technical director at the College of Musical Arts.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens. For tickets, call the Moore box office at 419-372-8171 or 1-800-589-2224.

The performance is an artistic collaboration among the College of Musical Arts, the Department of Theatre and Film, the School of Art and the School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies at BGSU.

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(Posted October 26, 2006 )