Department of Music’s SUU Opera
Presents Opera Scenes and
Speed Dating Tonight!: A Comic Opera In One Act
November 13–16, 2013
Photo credit: Taliah Byers in SUU Opera, November 2103. Photo: Asher J. Swan
SUU Opera presents a dynamic double-bill performance: Love Is Where You Find It, varied opera and musical theatre scenes, paired with Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight!: A Comic Opera in One Act. Performances run November 13-16, at 7:30 pm in the Thorley Recital Hall in the SUU Music Building. General admission tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for SUU Faculty and Staff, and $3 for children. SUU Students are free with a valid student I.D.
The evening features a unique operatic pairing: classic scenes depicting romance and a new contemporary opera spotlighting a comic exploration of modern day wooing. Selected opera and musical theatre numbers in Love Is Where You Find It include “Mistress Ford and Mistress Page Duet” from Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, three duets from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, “Three Little Maids from School” from Arthur Sullivan and W.S. Gilbert’s The Mikado, “Agony” from Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, and “Pa–, pa–, pa– (Papageno and Papagena’s duet)" from Emanuel Schikaneder and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Carol Ann Modesitt stage directs these scenes and one-act opera, with musical direction by Dr. Christian Bohnenstengel and Dr. Willem van Schalkwyk.
Speed Dating Tonight! is a one-act, comic opera created that hilariously portrays an imaginary speed dating night at a bar. Composer Michael Ching is best known for his comic opera, Buoso’s Ghost. He was General Director of Opera Memphis from 1992-2010. He is now Music Director of Buffalo's Nickel City Opera.
According to Professor Modesitt, “I feel it is imperative for students to perform traditional opera scenes because they have stood the test of time, but I also feel that it is important for students to experience new music that is being written in the twenty-first century. I picked Speed Dating Tonight because the manner in which it is composed gives the director a great deal of freedom in how it is put together. I was able to choose what characters I wanted to use, and I was able to dictate the order of the show. I did one of Michael’s operas “Out of the Rain” in 2000, and the students really loved his music. Michael e-mailed me about it last spring and let me look at the score. I thought it was a perfect fit for us, and we will be the first group to do it in Utah. It is allowing several students to be more than one character which they have found to be challenging, but they are actually having fun bringing those characters to life.”
The following student performers appear in both Speed Dating Tonight! and the selected scenes: Rebecca Dayley, Emilee Hales, James Harris, Luke Johnson, Jayson LeBaron, Lindsey Lopez, Emma McGuire, Christina Meikle, Annie Powell, Janese Shaw, Sarah Stout, Jocelyn Taylor and Sara Thorson.