Archive for Thursday, November 20, 2008

Comic opera set to run at Baker University

November 20, 2008

The Baker University music department will present the two-act comic opera “Too Many Sopranos” on Sunday and Monday at McKibbin Recital Hall in the Owens Musical Arts Building on the Baldwin City campus. Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Miki Thompson penned the libretto and Edwin Penhorwood composed the music. Thompson is a graduate of Kansas State University and currently the director of arts information at the College of Fine Arts at Stephen Austin State University in Austin, Texas. Penhorwood, a native of Ohio, is a pianist, composer, organist and vocal coach. He is currently a member of the faculty at Indiana University.

“Too Many Sopranos” was composed and first presented in concert form in 1997 at Indiana University. It is being performed for the first time at Baker.

The opera features Act I in the parlor of heaven and Act II occurs in the caverns of Hades. The dilemma presented is “there are too many sopranos in the heavenly chorus, so they are challenged by St. Peter to journey to the caverns of Hades to perform a selfless act which will allow them to return to Heaven with a male chorister, since most (if not all) of the best tenors and basses are in Hades.”

Members of the cast include Marci Ziegler, soprano; Robin Liston, soprano; Susan Buehler, soprano, who is also the director of the production and instructor for the class; Jessica Lenhart, senior mezzo-soprano; Ali Watson, sophomore mezzo-soprano; Adrienne Willems, freshman soprano; Eli Jones, junior tenor; Saunder James, senior bass; John Radenberg, senior tenor; William Duncan, sophomore; and Nanette Kraus, rehearsal and production pianist.

The comic opera is suitable for children.


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