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Kent State Opera to Perform Double Feature "There's No Opera Like Soap Opera"

Posted Apr. 5, 2012

Kent State Opera presents two 20th-century American operas - one comic, one tragic - at the Solon Center for the Arts, Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m. with a reception following each performance. The Solon Center for the Arts is located at 6315 SOM Center Road, Solon, OH 44139.

The program features Gallantry by Douglas Moore and The Medium by Gian Carlo Menotti. Members of the Kent State University Orchestra will accompany sixteen singers from the School of Music and the School of Theatre and Dance, conducted by Kent State Associate Professor Kerry Glann. Katherine Perkowski directs both productions.

"The performance certainly presents a stark contrast in styles, " said Glann. "You get a somewhat over-the-top comic tone in Gallantry, whereas The Medium is an eerie, psychological thriller with supernatural overtones. Both are melodramatic in their own ways."

Gallanty is a spoof of 1950s-era soap operas, complete with live commercials just like the early years of television. The soap opera is set in a hospital, in which Dr. Gregg is in love with his nurse Lola, who is engaged to another hospital worker. Commercials for the two 'sponsors' of the show, Lochinvar soap and Billy Boy Wax, are interspersed in the action, providing additional context and humor.

Menotti's dramatic masterpiece The Medium follows the story of a woman who supports herself as a medium, performing fake séances in her home with her daughter and a mute boy. Her world turns to chaos when she believes an unidentified presence has touched her, and her mental decline wrecks havoc on her career and those around her.

Note: Some content may not be suitable for young children. "There is a murder at the end of The Medium, though it's not done in a gruesome way," said Glann. "Overall it's probably PG-13."

Both operas will be performed as one show. Gallantry will run approximately 30 minutes while The Medium will run approximately 60 minutes, with an intermission in between.

"This is what's called a 'double-bill.' It's not uncommon in the opera world to have two shorter works presented together to make a full evening of entertainment," said Glann. "We chose these two operas because they offer a good number of casting opportunities for our students."

This production represents a continued and developing collaboration between the Solon Center for the Arts and Kent State University's Hugh A. Glauser School of Music.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $5 for students and can be reserved by calling the Solon Center for the Arts at 440-337-1400.

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Contact:

Effie Tsengas, etsengas@kent.edu, 330-672-8398