A & E
Music department showcases Opera Workshop Performances; opening eyes to operatic genre
The music department will present the annual Opera Workshop Performances Feb. 27, 28 and March 1 at the Campus Theater.
Students will perform scenes from "Don Pasquale" by Gaetano Donizetti, "Fidelio" by Ludwig van Beethoven, "Eugene Onegin" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and "Norma" by Vincenzo Bellini.
The performances also feature "Suor Angelica," Giacomo Puccini's one-act opera.
Students perform all the parts, with the exception of Sister Angelica, the lead role in "Suor Angelica," who is played by Ellen McLain, a well-known Seattle singer and actor.
|Photo by Christopher Nelson
The workshop will run February 27 and 28, and March 1.
Students get an education through participating in the opera workshop performances, Susan Dolacky, producer and music director, said. They get the chance to perform operatic scenes for the first time.
After performing in the opera, some have it as a memory, some go on to sing professionally, and others go on to teach, Dolacky said. They know what it is like to be on the stage performing.
Dolacky planned on being a choral teacher during her BA but learned otherwise while student teaching. When she got involved in opera during her masters education she realized she wanted to do something with it.
"I never even thought I'd sing opera," she said.
She was hired at SCC, where she developed the opera program. She also sang as a chorus member for the Seattle Opera for about eight years.
The Opera Workshop Performances have opened doors for people who didn't think they wanted to do it, Dolacky said.
"The people you never thought would go on go on," she said.
We've had rockers on stage singing opera, she said.
"It's just an eye opener and an experience," Dolacky said.
"It becomes a new world."
Some students have even participated in summer choruses at the Seattle Opera.
In addition to giving students an opportunity to perform in an opera, the workshop performances allow them to work with professionals.
This is a great first hand experience in seeing leadership, Dolacky said.
A professional comes in and already has the part booked down. This time it is McLain, who is playing the part of Sister Angelica.
Most of the singing is in English, with the exception of the scene from "Norma," which is sung in Italian, and the peasant chorus in "Eugene Onegin," which is sung in Russian.
George Fiore is coaching the singers in Italian. He used to be a chorusmaster of Seattle Opera, and currently conducts the Seattle Symphony Chorale. He also was Dolacky's former coach.
Tatiana Benbalit, a pianist for Seattle Opera, is coaching Russian to the peasant chorus.
|Photo courtesy of SCC PIO
Sister Angelica in Puccini's one-act opera, "Suor Angelica.
The guest conductor, Teresa Metzger Howe, conducted SCC's musical last year, "The Boy Friend." In 2001 she received her DMA in orchestral conducting.
The Shoreline Chamber Choir will perform in the scene from "Eugene Onegin," as well as singing the prisoners' chorus in "Fidelio."
Ann Raphael accompanies the scenes with piano. "Suor Angelica" has a 10-piece chamber orchestra of area professionals, with the piano filling in for the missing instruments.
All you had to do is mention Puccini and they'd play, Dolacky said.
"They said, 'Puccini, I'll play,'" she said.
The performances are fully staged and costumed.
Carl Bronsdon, costumer at Cornish, coordinates costuming. Sometimes he builds costumes, and he also borrows them from the University of Washington, Cornish, Renton Civic, and other places.
The music department collaborated other departments on campus for these performances, Dolacky said.
The Visual Communication Technology program printed the brochures, and there was a contest for students in the VCT department to develop a design for posters, brochures and programs. Clint Ceder designed the image.
The diet-tech club will sell refreshments before the show and during intermission.
It has several advantages, Dolacky said. It builds students to audition well in the future. They have the experience, and receive college credit, which will help if they transfer. They have the tools to go on with opera. If they don't go on, she said, they just may be the next ticket buyers and supporters of the arts.
Call 546-4606 for tickets. General admission is $12. Seniors and SCC faculty: $10. SCC students with college ID pay $8.
Additional info not in story:
Ann Arends: stage director.
Ron Owens: technical director.
The workshop is part of the Arts & Entertainment series. It is funded through Student Government and with ticket sales. SCC is the only community college in Washington with an opera program.
© 2003 Shoreline Community College