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16 May 2006

Local High School Students Appear in JSU Opera

Seven Calhoun County high school students will be starting a tradition at Jacksonville State University this month.  These singers will be appearing in Jacksonville Opera Theatre’s Production of “The Gondoliers” May 19-21 and 26-28.  “The Gondoliers” will be a fully staged and costumed opera, an evening filled with the kind of hilarity that one would expect from Gilbert and Sullivan.

The zany tale begins with two just-married Venetian gondoliers who are informed by the Grand Inquisitor that one of them has just become the “King” of  Barataria.  There is a “catch” however.  One of the two newlyweds was married in infancy to the beautiful daughter of a Spanish Duke and is now being called to the throne of Barataria as her husband.  Which one will it be and what will happen?  Who will assume the throne and who will be out of luck?  Which wife will be ditched?

There will be a full cast on hand to sort out the complications. The principal characters will be sung by collegiate singers, while the chorus will be filled out by college students and talented local high school students.  The first program of its kind at Jacksonville State University, the Jacksonville Opera Theatre Youth Apprentice Program will present a unique opportunity for high school singers to gain experience singing opera on the college level.  Representing the Calhoun County high schools are: Sebastian Cuevas, Saks High School, Eric Wilcox, Oxford High School, Caitlyn Graeff, Faith Christian School, Julie Batson, Grace Bible School, Crystal Sparks, Maggie Beam and Martin Smith, White Plains High School.

“The Gondoliers,” sung in English, will be presented in the Performance Center of Mason Hall, located on the main campus of Jacksonville State University.  Friday and Saturday evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinee performances will begin at 2:30 p.m. May 19-21 and May 26-28. 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and can be purchased by contacting Dr. Nathan Wight at 256-782-5876 or  Dinner and opera are available on Saturday evening, May 20th  and 27th beginning at 5:30 p.m. at “Classic On Noble” in Anniston.  The dinner will include a pre-opera lecture and fine dining, followed by the opera performance, all for $35.

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