CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,
April 3, 2008 – The Department of Music will present Opera Americana, three one-act operas by American composers, at 7:30 p.m. April 17-18 in the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall in the Seminary Building on Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.
Each work is approximately 30 minutes in length.
The evening will open with “Captain Lovelock” by John Duke. After a trip to “the big city,” a lovesick widow returns to her home to announce to her young daughters that she has decided to at find a young husband with the help of a matchmaker. Not surprisingly, the daughters are not pleased with this mid-life crisis, and they conspire with the maid to help the mother see the error of her ways.
“Blue Monday” by George Gershwin is the composer’s foray into verismo opera. With his unique style, Gershwin creates a colorful piece that combines the “blues” and traditional opera. Originally written in 1922, “Blue Monday” has been adapted for a modern audience. The story takes place in Mike’s Tavern, a 1940s dive. In this miniature, we see how ordinary people can get caught in a tale of tragedy, deception and jealousy.
“The Opening” by Alec Wilder brings “drama” in front of the curtain on opening night. Known for his popular songs as well as classical instrumental works, Wilder spins a tuneful score with plenty of humor. “The Opening” focuses on the personalities of the many types of people who go to the theatre, including the playwright, critic, usher and assorted ticket buyers. Just as the play is ready to open, there is an accident which changes the course of the show forever.
All operas are in English, are staged, and will be accompanied by piano. Opera Americana is directed by Christopher Goeke and Leslie Jones of the Department of Music; the Department of Theatre and Dance has assisted in the preparation of costumes and scenery for this show.
May be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by calling (573) 651–2265. Tickets also may be purchased online at metrotix.com, keyword “opera theatre” or by calling toll free: (800) 293-5949.