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Jacksonville Opera to present ‘Trial by Jury’

01/15/2014

January 17 and 18 of 2014, Jacksonville will be presenting a show from arts and entertainment history.

Originally composed by W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan, “Trial by Jury” is a musical comedy first produced in 1875 in London that will surely have the audience laughing and singing.

The short opera will be performed by Mason Hall’s sophomore entry level Opera workshop class, while also being directed by a student.

There will be no order in this court room as the plantiff and defendant go head to head to prove their respective sides of the story.

“Trail by Jury” is a forty minute production with little spoken dialogue, instead using music to express why Angelina is suing her fiance, Edwin. The reason for the suit? The breach of a marriage proposal.

Edwin though, reasons that because he was intoxicated at the time of the marriage proposal, the question of matrimony should not be taken seriously because it was insincere.

It is not indicated whether the promise was verbal or documented, but Angelina feels as though she is due marriage. Why? She already purchased her wedding gown.

Unfortuately, Edwin does not care too much, because he has his eye on another woman. Or, rather, women.

To make matters worse, the judge could not care less about the trial.

“Trial by Jury” is undoubtedly a divorce court sequence put to music, complete with elaborate reasons on how they got to the point of going to court in the first place.

According to the character outlines in the script, Angelina is a beautiful woman. This begs the question: Why would Edwin still be interested in other women if he indeed has a beauty on his arm? Perhaps Angelina has a terrible personality.

Whatever the case, Edwin refuses to follow through with the proposal he offered her while he was not completely himself.

The jury of the court room plays a major role in this musical comedy, but Jacksonville Opera is adding its own spin to “Trial by Jury.”

Instead of casting individuals as the jury, the audience in attendance of the production will be the jury.

The jury is an important part of this musical, which makes it the perfect opportunity for the audience that attends to show off the voice that they have by participating in the event.

The David L. Walters Department of Music at Jacksonville State University, Dr. Nathan Wight, Debra Mantua, and all of the performers are to be commended for the effort and time they have put into the porduction, and they undoubtedly look forward to the support of those on campus.

The performance will be in Mason Hall on January 17 and 18 beginning at 7:30 p.m. For tickets call 1-800-838-3006 or visit www.jacksonvilleopera.org.

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