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News from the Hilltop

April 4, 2011

Birmingham-Southern College Theatre to present opera and comedy trio

The Departments of Music and Theatre and Dance at Birmingham-Southern will present three one-act operas, The Impresario, Comedy on the Bridge, and Gallantry, April 15 and 17 at the College Theatre’s mainstage.

Birmingham-Southern College Theatre to present opera and comedy trio
Pictured at a rehearsal for Impresario are Colin Alexander, a sophomore music major as Bluff, the pianist; Cooper Schrimsher, a sophomore music major as Morgan Stanley, the talent manager; and Helen Marchman, a senior vocal performance major as Miss Silverpeal.

The performance on Friday, April 15, will start at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday, April 17, show will begin at 2:30 p.m.

The first opera in BSC’s trifecta of comedies, W.A. Mozart’s Impresario, finds the local opera house talent manager overwhelmed by two soprano divas battling it out for a big role in the coming season. The setting takes place in the ’80s in the office of a Birmingham opera house.

Next, Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu's Comedy on the Bridge takes place in a war-torn village in the ’40s where two sentries on either side of the local bridge refuse to let some of the villagers pass because they don’t have their papers. The question becomes: how will they get off this bridge?

Then contemporary American composer Gerald Moore’s ’50s “soap” opera, Gallantry, will grace the stage. In the current week’s episode, complete with commercial interruptions, the brilliant surgeon Dr. Gregg professes his love for his nurse anesthetist, Lola. But will Donald, Lola’s finance, who’s having his appendix removed, wake up to discover Lola is leaving him?

Each act is 30-40 minutes long and will be performed with a full orchestra, conducted by BSC’s Joseph Hugh Thomas Professor of Music Lester Seigel ’79. Two Birmingham-Southern students are included in the orchestra.

The three operas are comprised of beautiful classical arias and duets in English, including “Now, Dr. Gregg, You Have Gone too Far!” (sung by Lola in Gallantry, who is portrayed by senior music major Katie Leatherbury). The performance is led by BSC Opera Director Jeff Kensmoe.

The production also includes BSC faculty and staff members Matthew Mielke (scenic and lighting design) and Patti Manning (costumer). Some 4-8 student singers will be involved in each production with Gallantry featuring two student dancers as well. Students also are involved in several areas of technical production.

Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for students. For ticket information, please contact the College Theatre Box Office at 205/226-4780.

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