NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin State University voice students will present a program of musical theatre and opera scenes in a performance that features the Broadway hits of Leonard Bernstein at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.
“Bernstein on Broadway … and More!” will showcase students enrolled in the Opera Workshop class taught by Dr. Deborah Dalton, associate professor of voice and director of opera.
The first part of the program features the Opera Ensemble in scenes from selected Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, including “Carousel,” “Oklahoma!” and “The Sound of Music.” Pianist Shirley Watterston will accompany.
“I chose to do an all-Bernstein program with Opera Workshop in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth,” Dalton said. “This program consists of duets, quartets and quintets as well as full company performances. There are 13 scenes and 25 singers on the program.”
Selections from “West Side Story,” “Candide” and “On the Town” will be performed with piano accompaniment by student pianists Rachel Clark and Parker Dickenson.
“The most well-known scenes are from ‘West Side Story,’ a modern take on ‘Romeo and Juliet,’” Dalton said. “Two rival gangs, the Jets – native New Yorkers led by Riff – and the Sharks – Puerto Rican immigrants led by Bernardo – claim the same turf. Tony, formerly of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, Bernardo’s sister. Unfortunately, the story ends in tragedy.”
The balcony scene features the song “Tonight,” in which Tony searches for Maria and then climbs up the fire escape to talk to her after they met at a dance. In the “Tonight” quintet, the principals are getting ready for an exciting evening. The scene features Tony and Maria, because they planned a meeting; Anita, who has a date with her boyfriend, Bernardo; and Riff and Bernardo, who are getting worked up for a fight between the strongest boys in their respective gangs. In “A Boy Like That,” Anita finds out about Tony and confronts Maria. She makes sure Maria knows “this” kind of boy is bad news.
“There are some lovely surprises to be discovered in scenes from the less well-known shows,” Dalton added.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.