Indiana State University Newsroom

Evening of French-Themed of Opera and Music Theater Nov. 14 and 15

November 4, 2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Indiana State University Opera and Music Theater Workshop will present an evening with a French twist Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 14 and 15, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Center for Performing and Fine Arts.

The select ensemble, conducted by Mark Carlisle and stage directed by Colleen Davis, will perform staged scenes from Bizet's "Carmen," Massenet's "Manon," Lully's "Alceste," Berlioz' "Beatrice and Benedict," Ravel's "The Bewitched Child" and Gluck's "Iphegenie in Tauride."

The second portion of the program will feature musical selections from famous French-themed American musicals of the 1950s, including Cole Porter's "Can-Can," Lerner and Leowe's "Gigi," and Bob Merrill's Tony Award-winning "Carnival." The scenes will be accompanied on the piano by Andrea Marlow, with costume assistance provided by the ISU theater department.

A special feature of the program will be new original English translations for the Lully and Gluck scenes.

"Because these operas were composed before the ‘common practice' period, they presented a unique challenge." Davis said. "These early operas are less often performed by student groups, and no sing-able English translations are printed, so we had to develop our own. The Alceste situation is timeless, very modern, so we've updated it to the present day. We have a strong tradition of performing our opera scenes in English, both for the understanding of the audience, and to develop the students' dramatic skills. Often, the students would prefer to sing in the original foreign language; that's what they are trained to do in their voice lessons. But the class exists partly to take trained singers and develop their stage movement and acting skills, so we ask them to perform the scenes in English."

The program is free and open to the public, suitable for school-aged through adult audience members. For more information, contact the music department at (812) 237-2771.


Contact: Colleen Davis, ISU Music Department, (812) 237-2746
Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing (812) 237-3783,