World Premiere of How to Date a Coloratura Performs at SUU

Published: March 08, 2018 | Author: Ashley H Pollock | Read Time: 2 minutes

Student singing on stageThe SUU Music Masterworks Series continues with their Spring opera March 21 through 24, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in the Thorley Recital Hall of SUU’s Music Building. The Department of Music will be performing two chamber operas. The first is the world premiere of How to Date a Coloratura by Chicago composer, Philip Seward. The second is Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. Southern Utah University faculty, staff, and students are free with a valid ID card. Faculty and staff IDs are allowed one guest. Tickets can be purchased at the door the night of the show or online at

Professor Carol Ann Modesitt said, “The students and I are so excited to be doing the world premiere of Philip Seward's opera. It has been challenging as well as fun for us to work on this project together. [Seward] has done a wonderful job of keeping the melodies tuneful while maintaining interesting harmonies, and incorporating snippets of other operas throughout the work. Claire Robinson and Ben Lieske, who are playing the lead characters, have risen to the challenge and I think the audience will enjoy the results." 

Award winning composer, Philip Seward, has worked as a performer and composer. His work includes operas and music for orchestra and women’s chorus. He currently serves as a Senior Lecturer at Columbia College Chicago, heads the Music Lab at in conjunction with the Academy for New Music Theatre in Los Angeles, and serves as music director at St. James Presbyterian Church in Chicago. 

Claire Robinson said, “Working on the world premiere of How to Date a Coloratura is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Since I am the first person to ever play the role of 'Girl' I have a lot of freedom. In most classic operas, the roles have been done hundreds of times and singers end up conforming to choices made previously. Being the first to play the role, I get the amazing opportunity to make it my own. How to Date a Coloratura is charming and fun. It is light-hearted and at times parodies famous operas such as Mozart's Die Zauberflote and Puccini's Madame Butterfly. It is relatable and has something for everyone. I'm excited to show the community something that has never been done before. It's new for the performers and the audience which makes it exciting.” 

The evening will continue with the witty Trial by Jury written by Gilbert and Sullivan. First performed in 1875, this opera has remained a favorite of all audiences. This opera is performed in one act and will keep the audience in hysterics.    

Experience the world premiere of How to Date a Coloratura alongside the classic Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera Trial by Jury. For more information about the Department of Music at SUU, please visit

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