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No Archie and Edith Bunker in University of Lethbridge opera workshop’s “All In The Family”

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 If you are new to opera,  The University of Lethbridge opera workshop is an easy way  to dip your feet into it, Nov. 4-5 Ian Fundytus and Amalea Lutsenko perform in The University of Lethbridge’s Opera workshop.  Photo by Richard Ameryat  the University of Lethbridge Recital Hall.
“It’s called All in the Family, but Archie and Edith Bunker are not involved, ” laughed artistic director Dr. Blaine Hendsbee.

 Instead he explored all of his favourite operas and chose 10 selections which were not only well known and beloved by audiences, but which would also work best with his 30 performers’ voices.

 So selections will include Hansel and Gretel, The Marriage of Figaro, La Bohème, the Pirates of Penzance and the Gondoliers, just to name a  few of them, all of which involve family relationships like  young newlyweds in marriage of Figaro,  or  a group of four sisters in Little Women, or a brother and sister in Hansel and Gretel.

“And in La Boheme, it’s about  a group of young people who go to Paris to find themselves and form their own  their own support networks. It’s kind of like going away to university,” he continued.

“ If you don’t recognize the operas, you will recognize the music,” he said.

 Working with young people is a pleasure.
 “These singers are all young and exciting and energetic. They are not  your stereotypical opera singers,” he said.
 “These young voices will literally bounce off the stage,” he enthused.

He said there are funny selections and more dramatic selections and a lot of great dancing.
“To hear all of these great voices coming out of these tiny bodies is mind-boggling,” he enthused.

 Opera workshops always take place in the fall with the major production taking place in February. This year it will be Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Feb. 3-4. It will be sung in English. The performers are looking forward to their first show of the year.

“ I didn’t make the cut for another  production, but Blaine put me in the opera workshop program because he said I was a great singer, ” said third year vocal arts student Ian Fundytus, who has been in several opera workshops since then.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. He is performing in four different selections for this show
“Here, undergraduate students get to perform full length operas, usually  that’s only offered to master’s students,” he observed.

 “ There are a lot of opportunities presented by the opera workshop program,” added  Amalea Lutsenko, also a third year vocal arts students. She was drawn to the program after attending opera camp as a teen.
“I just love performing. This is very similar (to opera camp),” she said.

“ It  (the show) is a lot of fun. You’ll be entertained. There is a lots of entertainment and lots of beautiful voices,” she said.
Get tickets at the University Box Office, Monday – Friday 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm, or by calling (403) 329-2616. Tickets are $15 regular, $10 seniors/students. The show begins at 8 p.m. each night in the University Recital Hall.

 — By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 November 2011 12:43 )  
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