Stan State Music Department to Present Opera Scenes | Music
The Stanislaus State Music Department will fill the spring semester with its opera stages this Thursday, April 21. This year’s theme is Spring Fling and will feature songs with an upbeat, fun and “springtime” tone.
“There’s something for everyone,” says music teacher Joseph Wiggett.
Audience members will be able to hear a variety of operetta scenes throughout the night, starting with scenes from German and English operas, includingsinging a baritone duet called “Elixir of Love”. The evening will end with musical numbers including “American” from “West Side Story”.
Stephanie Ortiz (senior, Music – Vocal Performance) said she has been performing at this event since she was a freshman.
“With the opera scenes, what’s cool is that we take a mix of various opera productions,” Ortiz said.
She explained that some are famous and well-known productions and some are lesser-known, but the program brings them together so that the audience can experience a wide variety.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and campus protocols with mask wearing and social distancing, there are some changes to the performance experience. In previous years, opera stages were complete with the traditional costumes and make-up of the opera’s respective period and language, in addition to being fully staged and sometimes featuring an orchestra performing with the singers.
Lucas Mitchell (Junior, Music – Vocal Performance) expressed his excitement that the event continues to rebuild where it was before as more costumes and staging return in light of COVID-19 restrictions.
Under these restrictions, Dr Wiggett explained that there will be a mix of traditional costumes with regular concert attire, formals and tuxes. Additionally, to combat social distancing, the stage will not be fully complete with props, but the use of projections to “set the scene” and provide textual context will be in effect.
Another highlight of the evening will be two songs dedicated to the Ukrainian people in light of current events.
“Art has always been commentary,” Wiggett said, though sometimes it’s not as overt as other forms of protest.
Throughout history, art has served as a form of commentary on current events. Even some of the operas featured in the program had a story with political commentary.
Mitchell explained that politics can be a big part of art.
“It’s an important aspect of the arts,” he said. “We are doing what has always been done.”
Ortiz expressed that she was happy to have the inclusion of dedicated songs in the program.
“The world has been through so much already,” she said, “These songs offer a glimpse of light.”
In an effort to bring people back to the theater, the event will be held in person at Snider Music Hall and admission is free. Further information and a list of upcoming events can be found on the Department of Music website: www.csustan.edu/music/music-events.