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U of L Opera Workshop presents contrasting short operas with dark:light

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U of L Opera Workshop presents dark : light in the University Recital Hall, Nov. 3-4. This semi-staged fall concert features two one-act operas: Riders to the Sea by Ralph Vaugh Williams, and Ten Belles and No Ring by Frantz von Suppe, which musical director Dr. Blaine Hendsbee hopes will give the audience and the audience a taste of their annual February collaboration with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra at the Southminster United Church which will focus on Viennese opera.Sarah Curtis sings a high F in light:dark, the University of Lethbridge Opera Workshop’s upcoming production this week. Photo by Richard Amery


“ We have two very contrasting one act operas,” he said of the Nov. 3-4 concert.

“On the dark side, we have  a dreadfully tragic story in the setting of John Mington Synge’s 1903 play Riders of the Sea. It’s about the matriarch of a family who has lost her husband, father and five sons to the sea. So there is just three women and one son left. Who also ends up being taken by the sea. So it’s about the relentless power of the sea,” Hendsbee said.

“ On the light side, we have a classic one act  Viennese opera which we sing in English. It’s a beautiful story called “Ten Belles and No Ring by Franz Von Suppe. It is about a father who has 10 daughters he wants to find a husband for. A suitor stops by. And it is like he has a speed date with each of them. But he doesn’t choose any of them, he chooses the maid instead. But it’s a happy ending because we don’t want to send anybody away in tears,” Hendsbee said.

“It is a perfect pair of a great tragic drama and a light-hearted romp,” he said.


“ It’s  a full staged production with costumes and the performers do a great job. One of them hits a high F, which is very challenging,“ he said.


“ We hope it will whet their appetite for next year‘s symphony production of Viennese operas with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra,” he continued.


The U of L Opera Workshop always presents opera at its finest. Under the direction of Dr. Blaine Hendsbee, the ensemble produces a semi-staged fall concert of operatic excerpts as well as a fully staged annual operatic production in the spring in collaboration with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra.


 Dark:light takes place in the University of Lethbridge recital hall, Nov 3 and 4 at 7:30 -9:30  p.m. each night . Tickets are $20 regular,$15 for seniors and alumni and $12 for students.

 — By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 31 October 2017 09:12 )  
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