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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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4/7/2009 Italian opera comes to Linfield stage

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McMINNVILLE – The development of the genre of Italian opera unfolds in "Potions and Pathos: Scenes from Italian Opera," operatic performances by Linfield College music students, on Sunday, April 19, at 8 p.m. in the Richard and Lucille Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall at Linfield.

            The evening is the culmination of the Linfield Opera Theatre, a one-credit course offered each spring to give students operatic experience. This is the 17th production of the program, directed by Gwen Leonard, professor of music at Linfield. She is assisted by two professional musicians – Susan McDaniel, pianist and 1997 Linfield graduate, and David Howell, stage director and former opera singer – along with costumer Linda Mattson.

A 17-member cast featuring Linfield students and J.P. Bierly, a 2002 Linfield graduate and Linfield Chamber Orchestra administrator, will perform five operatic excerpts featuring styles that have remained popular with audiences over the 409-year Italian opera history. Composers such as W.A. Mozart, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Gaetano Donizetti and Giacomo Puccini are featured. Scenes include melodic grace and elegance typical of Italian opera, Leonard said.

For the first time in Linfield Opera Theatre history, part of the performance will be sung in the original language. An excerpt from “La Boheme” by Puccini will be sung in Italian.

“Most musical theater-goers know the ‘La Boheme’ story through either the original or the current incarnation, the musical ‘Rent,’” Leonard said. “The strong singers featured in our scene made this original language choice possible.”     

The Linfield College Opera Theatre gives students an opportunity to combine singing and acting ability in the context of studying repertoire from the best of musical theatre. The workshop was established in 1993 when student singers collaborated with the Linfield Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Pergolesi's "La Serva Padrona."

The 90-minute performance is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Linfield Music Department at 503-883-2275.

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