Thursday, April 24, 2008

Messiah College Presents - "Opera With and Without Words"

Actually, the performance is already over, but I just had to write about it and this is the first chance I've had!

Three years ago, Damian Savarino (my son's terrific voice teacher his four years at Messiah) and the Messiah College Music Department made history when they produced the first ever Opera Workshop at Messiah College. Opera Workshop was a 3 credit class the first year, although I believe that has changed due to the fact it was so popular, students wanted to take the class again next the following year(s). Possibly it is now an ensemble credit.

Although Opera Workshop's first and second performances were a series of opera scenes, this year, the exciting and ambitious plan was to stage an opera with orchestra. For the first part of the program, the orchestra played well-known opera music. For the second half of the program, Mr. Savarino chose to have the students perform Gianni Schicchi.

The production was fabulous!!! There was a full house and the audience loved it!!!! The directors of both orchestra and opera, as well as all the performers, did a wonderful job. It was obvious that a lot of thought was put into every aspect of the performance.

Besides our family, including all the grandparents, we brought eleven other audience members from our church and homeschool community. They adored the performance! I heard a teenager telling another young man all about it after church the next day and he was still laughing about the story line. This was a fantastic opera with which to begin - showing people who were unfamiliar with opera that it is fun and accessible.

In a brilliant move, Mr. Savarino cast music majors, a history major, theater majors, a business major and a math major, bringing their friends from those and other departments into the world of opera. And really involving the entire campus community. They will come back next year! And hopefully enjoy opera wherever they go for years to come.

Free opera - how good does it get?!!!

I look forward to Messiah College's Opera Workshop performances for years to come!

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