Students to display talents in opera comedy titled ‘Opera Pirates’

Sable Riley

Staff Writer

Students will showcase their singing and dancing skills in an opera titled “Opera Pirates” in the Long Hall School of Music Choir Room on Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m.

The concert will be a repertoire of songs and scenes from Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Composed by two 19th-century songwriters, the operettas parody grand opera with British wit.

“This particular concert is a great introduction to opera,” said Christina Amonson, assistant professor of voice at Troy University and director of the opera workshop. “It is comedic, and it showcases so many different singers.”

Amonson said that the concert would be composed of comedic performances, with a few scenes that will be “genuine and heartfelt.”

“A great thing about a revue is that all of our students get their ‘15 minutes of fame,’ ” Amonson said. “Everyone gets featured for one aria or a small ensemble.”

Sarah Hunt, a junior theater major from Huntsville, plays the part of Mabel in “The Pirates of Penzance.”

“I expect we’ll have a lot of fun,” Hunt said. “A lot of it is really silly, so it’s more like having a good time with classmates than a performance that has a lot of pressure on it.”

The teachers and performers have high expectations for the opera, as it does not cater to just lovers of highbrow musical performances but to fans of comedic acting as well.   

“Don’t come to this opera expecting an elegant night of art and posh music,” said Shelby Steverson, a senior theater major from Crestview, Florida, who will be taking on the role of Bunthorne.

“Gilbert and Sullivan write only in the form of absurd farce. I expect (the show) to be silly, off-the-walls and not at all formal.”

“I feel excited to give this last show,” said Carol Anne Osborne, a senior music industry major from Panama City, Florida, who will be playing the role of Elsie in “The Yeomen of the Guard.” “Since this is my last semester here at Troy, it’ll be a bittersweet moment for me.”

Osborne said that it has been “a joy” working alongside her classmates this semester, as well as Amonson and John Jinright, accompanist for the performance.

“Music is so personal, and so we’ve all developed a special bond over the years,” Osborne said.

Amonson and all her students share an affinity for the art.

“We sing because we have something to share with the world through music,” Amonson said.

The final performance will be made of student performers who chose to take part in Amonson’s opera workshop class this semester.

“This class is different from most other classes offered here,” Hunt said. “It’s a really supportive environment, and it serves as a safe space for us to grow in our art. It’s more like a family than a class that I’m registered for, and I think that’ll show onstage as well.”

“We have rehearsed weekly all semester and have great teachers to direct us, so I’m confident about the show’s execution,” Osborne said. “I’ve been singing with this group for four years now, and it’s so much fun that you forget sometimes it’s a performance.”

“The show is lighthearted, silly, satirical and all-around fun, so I’m expecting lots of laughs from the audience and just a great, entertaining show in general,” Osborne said. “It’s free for all and super accessible for anybody, even those who don’t exactly love opera. In fact, it’s practically made for those people.”

The concert will take place in the Long Hall band room. More information about upcoming music events can be found at

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