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Music Department to Present Halloween Opera Oct. 26, 27

Public Relations
Posted: Wednesday Oct 24, 2012

Oct. 24, 2012

Saint Vincent College School of Humanities and Fine Arts and its department of music will present the deeply touching and terrifying one-act opera, The Medium, by the late composer Gian Carlo Menotti, at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27 in the barn at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve on the campus of Saint Vincent College.

The Medium, written in 1946, ran for 211 performances on Broadway and was reported to be a compendium of the famous composer’s style – “delicate orchestration, lyric writing and melodramatic theatricality.” The opera is frequently described as “one of the best American operas of the 20th century and definitely Menotti’s best.”

The opera concerns Mme. Flora, a fraudulent medium, Monica, her naïve teenaged daughter, and Toby, a mute gypsy boy taken off the streets and raised in their home. During one of her séances, Mme. Flora feels a pair of hands gripping her around the neck. She is so startled that she abruptly ends the séance, sending her customers away. Her search to find the truth leads to murder and mayhem.

Singers include junior music major Kara Laus of Carnegie as Mme. Flora (Baba), junior music major Carolyn Smith of Washington as Monica, sophomore performing arts major Mark Harris of Belle Vernon as Toby the mute, junior music performance major Danielle Byrne of Latrobe as Mrs. Gobineau, freshman music major Jonathan White of Greensburg as Mr. Gobineau and continuing education vocal performance major Sheena Chopra of Weirton, West Virginia as Mrs. Nolan.

Music director and conductor is Thomas Octave, assistant professor and chair of the music department. Colleen Reilly, assistant professor of fine arts, is stage director. Music preparation as well as piano performance for The Medium will be by Susanna Lemberskaya. Music and character preparation is by Sonya Caceres of the Saint Vincent music faculty.

Admission is free and open to the public but donations will be accepted toward the music department’s trip to see the National Opera Company perform in Washington, D.C.


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