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Spending an evening at the opera, is an evening spent well; and this was made possible on Wednesday, April 6 in the Covington Center when Radford University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts Department of Music presented the Radford University Opera Workshop. The concert was directed by Dr. Youngmi Kim, accompanied Dr. Bora Lee on piano, and Katie Metzler was the graduate assistant involved.
The concert opened with Il Matrimonio Segreto (1792) Act 1, Scene 4 “Signora sorellina”- Recitative and “Le faccio un inchino”- Trio, with music composed by Domenico Cimarosa on the libretto by Giovanni Bertati. The three singers, Adele Gleixner as “Elisetta,” Megan Clemmons as “Carolina,” and Kayla Currie as “Fidalma,” began singing while sitting at a table playing a board game. While singing about why the younger sister should respect the older sister, they began fighting. This piece was enjoyable for its humorous and light-hearted nature.
The second piece of the evening was “Herr, ich bin zwar Verbrecherin”- Duet from Die Zauberflöte (1791), Act 1, Final Scene composed by W.A. Mozart. In this selection, Sarah Albert sang the role of “Pamina,” who was explaining to “Sarastro,” sung by James Nugent, why she tried to leave him. This opera, known as “The Magic Flute” in English, is about two lovers.
For the concert’s third selection was Dido and Aeneas (1689), Act 2, Scene 1, The Sorceress and Witches Scene, which was composed by Henry Purcell with the libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. This piece was sung by Kayla Currie as the “Sorceress,” Kara Campese as the “First Witch,” Shelley Anderson as the “Second Witch,” and Marley Holliday, Fiona O’Brien, Alex Lyons, and James Nugent in the “Chorus.” To begin, Fiona O’Brien danced as she brought everyone else onstage.
The evening’s next piece was “Nous avons en tête une affaire”- Quintet from Carmen (1875), Act 2, Scene 4, composed by Georges Bizet. The singers, Adele Gleixner (“Frasquita”), Katie Metzler (“Mercedes”), Missy Caton (“Carmen”), Ben Sherman (“El Ramendado”), and Tim Smith (“El Dancairo”) excellently performed this romantic, jovial, and feisty piece.
Following the intermission was “A Heart Full of Love” by Herbert Kretzmer from Act 1, Scene 6 of Les Misérables (1980) by Claude-Michel Schönberg. This romantic and heart-felt song was sung by Ben Sherman as “Marius,” Mae LeRoy as “Cosette,” and Fiona O’Brien as “Eponine.” During this piece, “Eponine” was separated onstage from “Cosette” and “Marius” to represent a lost relationship.
The evening’s sixth piece was Alcina (1735), Act 3, Scene 7, “Le lusinghe e gl’inganni”- Recitative, which was composed by George Frideric Handel and “Non è amor, né gelosia”- Trio, in which the music was composed by Anonymous. This selection was well-performed by Katie Metzler as “Alcina,” Charlotte Hargest as “Ruggiero,” and Missy Caton as “Bradamante.” With their beautiful harmonies; their voices sounded effortless.
The seventh selection was “All I Ask of You,” from The Phantom of the Opera (1986), Act 1, Scene 5, which was musically composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber with the lyrics written by Charles Hart. Alex Lyons sang the part of “Raoul” and Megan Clemmons sang the part of “Christine” for this delicate and sweet romantic selection.
The final piece of the concert was “One Day More” from Les Misérables (1980), which was composed by Claude-Michel Schönberg. “Jean Valjean” and “Enjolras” was sung by Ben Sherman, “Marius” was sung by Alex Lyons, “Cosette” was sung by Marley Holliday, “Eponine” was sung by Charlotte Hargest, “Javert” was sung by James Nugent, “Thenardier” was sung by Tim Smith, “Madame Thenardier” was sung by Kayla Currie, and the “Chorus” included Shelley Anderson, Sarah Albert, Mae LeRoy, Megan Clemmons, Katie Metzler, Missy Caton, Fiona O’Brien, Kara Campese, and Adele Gleixner–this piece included the entire ensemble. Towards the end, everyone came to the center of the stage for an inspiring finish.
Without a doubt, the skilled performers made the concert an excellent event at Radford University. The audience was certainly taken aback by the concert. The evening’s operatic concert brought musical and cultural value to the university, as well as the community.