College Park students spend a night at the opera

Photo courtesy of The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
The Maryland Opera Studio’s presentation of “A Night in Old Vienna.”

By Phoebe Dinner

The Maryland Opera Studio presents “A Night in Old Vienna,” a classic tale of Vienna in the 19th and 20th centuries at the Kay Theatre in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on April 12 and 15.

The Maryland Opera Studio and the Maryland Opera Workshop are coming together to present operettas showcasing undergraduatesenrolled in the opera workshop class. The opera is the culminating performance of the class.

“The class [Opera Workshop] has often previously done operettas, meaning small opera-like works written by one composer,”said senior vocal performance major Caitlin Gompf . “This [performance] is a pastiche, meaning it’s a bunch of songs in a similar style by many different composers.”

The production is a cabaret; the plot lines of the songs are not heavy or long like an opera.

Gompf describes the show as a “lighthearted cabaret about the joys of life and love in Vienna.” In her performance she sings a song from the perspective of an engaged woman, who ends up in a steamy romance with another man.

“It’s amazingly fun to be this girl,” Gompf said. “It’s almost as good as having a steamy fling myself.”

Gompf works for up to three hours per week in preparation for the performance, and says that she expects the work to become more intensive as the performance date approaches.

Nick Olcott, the interim director of the Maryland Opera Studio, hand-picked songs for the students to sing. Olcott admires the way Viennese viewed love in their songs. He said that they saw love with eyes wide open and were very wise romantically.

Olcott thinks the light nature of the show will attract students on campus to come see it. He thinks that students share acomic outlook on love with the Viennese.

“I’m looking forward to a wonderful set of stories of love affairs that aren’t perfect,” Olcott said. “Some [character’s] in the show are downright cynical.”

Even though these songs are from the 18th and 19th centuries, Olcott said ge believes their story lines have a sense of modernity, which is what students will connect with the most.

“I think I would better appreciate the show if I went with my family,” sophomore Carly Farkas, who is enrolled in letters and sciences,said. “I personally don’t see myself going out with college friends to see it.”

Students may not be used to the vocal styling of an operetta, but the Kay Theatre is opening up its doors to all who want to experience something new. Tickets are general admission and free of charge.


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