Opera Workshop performed for live audience

April 20, 2012

By Ivy Hillman '12

A semester of practice paid off for students in the Opera Workshop course last week when they took to the stage and performed in front of a live audience at Dingeldine Music Center.

The 11 students enrolled in the class worked on various operatic pieces throughout the semester in order to hone their performance skills. The course is offered each spring and is a requirement for vocal performance and music education majors, but it can be taken as an elective for those in other degree programs.

The class chose four pieces to perform, three of which were by Mozart: "The Marriage of Figaro," "Cosi Fan Tutte" and "The Magic Flute." The final piece was a scene from Domenico Cimarosa's "Il Matrimonio Segreto." Students sang two of the works in Italian and the remaining two in English.

Each scene featured costumes, props and some background scenery. Molly Sloter, MM '81 staff accompanist for the music department, provided accompaniment on the piano.

Laura Saunders, senior interactive media and music major, participated in the opera workshop course for her own enjoyment.

"I mostly participated for fun and to become more comfortable singing for others," Saunders said. "I learned a lot about how much energy it takes to put a production like this together."

Saunders took the stage in two of the scenes and thought the final production was nearly perfect.

"The two scenes I was in went very well. The singing and staging were pretty much spot on from rehearsal," she said. "There was one costume mishap right before going on stage for my second scene, but we improvised a solution."

Saunders said she and other students benefited most from performing for a live audience.

"I think the live audience assisted in the performance going so well. Performing for a live audience is fun because it helps ease the nerves, and your desire to get in character and tell a story takes over," Saunders said.