Opera Workshop hosts Curt Olds as a coach

Beth Hyatt
Copy Editor

Troy University’s Opera Workshop will be performing pieces from well-known operettas and musicals such as “West Side Story” and “Candide,” on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Long Hall Band Room.
The theme of the performance will be “Scenes by Sondheim and Bernstein” and the title is “Do You Feel Pretty?” This performance mixes classical opera sound with musical theater to attract a wider audience.
The opera scenes are all American comedic scenes.
“It’s American opera, which is new,” said Kayla Boston, a junior music industry major and performer from Panama City, Florida.  “Most of the scenes are comical. It’s enjoyable for all audiences. I don’t think children will be bored at this.”
In order to add more authenticity to the performance, the opera workshop conductor, Christi Amonson, invited professional dancer, singer and actor Curt Olds to coach the singers before Sunday.
By getting critiques from a professional, the singers hope to improve their blocking, techniques and overall performance.
Olds will arrive in Troy on Wednesday afternoon. He will hold a master class on Thursday evening for the music department and Friday afternoon for the theater department. All are welcome to attend the master class.
Connor Murphy-White, a senior music industry and theater major from Greenville, acts as the marketing manager for Opera Workshop as well as performing in the show. “These scenes are more classical musical theatre/operetta rather than the bel canto ‘stricter’ operatic genre,” said Murphy-White.
“All of the scenes are sung in English and all are a delight to hear. We have fantastic singers and accomplished actors that bring such vitality when performing.”
Along with the performers, there are many backstage workers who keep the performance afloat. Jordan Ratliff, a senior vocal choral music industry major from Oneonta, designed the programs for the show, acts as the make-up and costume attendant as well as performs in a few scenes. “We’re taking a simplistic but elegant approach with the costumes. We’re all about the beautiful singing, not the typical operatic ‘flashy’ show,” said Ratliff.
The singers are honored that a well-known conductor like Olds would take time out of his busy schedule to teach them more about acting and vocal production. “It is a privilege for us to work with him,” said Murphy-White. Tickets are free of charge, and all are welcome.

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