Sunday, April 13, 2014

Eric Conway, Morgan State University: 'Kudos to the casts and crews of Opera Double Header this weekend!'

Eric Conway, D.M.A.:

Hello everyone,

What an incredible weekend of music making!  Two fabulous productions, presented by Opera at Morgan.  For many, Opera can be a bitter pill to swallow!  Most operas are in a foreign language, in languages that we Americans typically have not studied, let alone mastered enough to understand in song.   Additionally, if you have attended Opera before, you know that the productions can be very long, often lasting as many as three and a half to five hours.  This weekend's performances featured two one-act operas.  The operas had two distinct stories and two distinct musical styles.  However, each opera complimented the other. Both opera presentations were only one hour in length with an appropriate fifteen minute intermission.  Vincent Stringer, artistic director of Opera at Morgan was the director of Suor Angelica, with Dr. Lester Green at musical director and conductor.  Puccini's Suor Angelica is a story of sacrifices made for a life of piety.  MFAC's own Dwight R.B. Cooke was the director of Devil & Daniel Webster, which story was based around compromise of the soul or perhaps compromise of one's integrity.  Both productions were stellar, with great movement on stage and singing from the casts.  Of note was the all-encompassing set for the operas, featuring a Black Madonna in Suor Angelica sculpted by faculty member Blaise DePaolo.  The set was designed by Jeff Harrison and realized by recently hired Fine Arts technician Scott Yuille. My only regret, as in our much larger production of Porgy and Bess a couple of years ago, was that more people were not in attendance.  Unfortunately, we were competing with the first warm weekend of this spring season. Additionally, Constitution Hall presented a Tribute concert to Marian Anderson on Saturday evening, where many potential Opera goers already were committed.  Despite these facts, many are still amazed at the talent that Morgan continues to display. Whether via the choir, the band, theatre, or even Opera, Morgan has an abundance of talent.  We are all blessed to be a part of the network, no family such as Morgan to regularly come together to appreciate the finer things in life - Art, Music, and Theatre. Hopefully, everyone will continue to tune in the Murphy Fine Arts Center website to see what great production is next.   Congratulations to the entire casts, crew, and faculty that helped make these productions such a success.  See links below to video and photos from the Opera this weekend. Enjoy!  

Opera Video Link:

Opera Photos Link:

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