Devils, Demons, and Redemption: SUU Opera Scenes

Published: November 01, 2016 | Read Time: 3 minutes

Devils, Demons, and Redemption: SUU Opera ScenesSUU’s Department of Music will be performing Devils, Demons, and Redemption: SUU Opera Scenes at the Thorley Recital Hall on November 9-12, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Devils, Demons, and Redemption will take you on a musical journey through the darkness and joy of the human experience.

Leslie Perkins, a junior vocal performance major, stated, “Preparing for this performance has taken a lot of hard work but it has pushed me to new levels and definitely helped me to grow in ways I didn't think were possible. It has been difficult due to the long hours of practice and rehearsal, but has been an incredibly rewarding learning experience.”

Devils, Demons, and Redemption will begin with a collection of scenes from well-known operas. A scene that is new to the Thorley stage will be performed from Charles Gounod’s Faust, a redemption tale about a man who makes a deal with the devil. While Hansel and Gretel, by German composer Engelbert Humperdinck, was performed at SUU about ten years ago, this particular scene has not been performed individually at SUU. A scene from Susannah, written by Carlisle Floyd, is being presented with the final scene from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

The second half of the show features an early chamber opera by Mozart called The Impresario. Even though SUU’s Department of Music performed scenes from this one act opera in 2006, the opera has not been performed in its entirety at SUU since the early 90’s.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Impresario was written as a result of a one act opera competition with Antonio Salieri, the imperial court composer for Emperor Joseph II, in Vienna, Austria. The rivalry between Mozart and Salieri was widely known, so the emperor devised the competition for the entertainment of the public. Both one act operas explored the intrigues of opera and were performed on the same night in front of hundreds of guests during a spring festival at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. While Salieri arose as the victor of the competition, it pushed Mozart to becoming an even better composer and led to the writing of his opera The Marriage of Figaro.

The Impresario is about Mr. Scruples, a theatre director, who is looking for new actors, but is having money troubles. A banker, Mr. Angel, offers his financial assistance under one condition: his lover, Madame Goldentrill, must be included in the theatre’s production. As Mr. Scruples auditions the different artists, he almost threatens to give up due to their capriciousness. Finally, the actors agree that the audience should decide who gets hired for the part. It is a fun, lighthearted production that is sure to leave you laughing.

Claire Robinson, another member of the cast and a sophomore majoring in vocal performance, said, “My favorite part about the rehearsal process is the amount of growth that happens within the cast. Everyone is challenged and improves immensely by the end. We also grow as colleagues and friends. I feel honored to work in such a great department.”

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