The Meredith College Opera Theater will present two performance of Benjamin Britten’s comic chamber opera, Albert Herring, February 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. (February 14 performance cancelled because of inclement weather).
The production, which is part of Meredith’s celebration of Britten’s centennial, will feature Meredith students, local artists, and artist-in-residence Metropolitan Opera soprano Claudia Waite, as Lady Billows.
Many Meredith faculty, staff, students, and alumnae are part of the production. “It has been a wonderful experience,” said Professor of Music Ellen Williams. “It is one of our most extensive operatic collaborations between the music and theatre programs, with support from many others on campus.”
As artist-in-residence, Waite has been working with music students as part of the opera production.
“In addition to singing the part of Lady Billows, she is stage directing and offering help in characterization,” said Williams. “Opera is one of the most complex art forms, so she is assisting them with learning how to inhabit their characters and to relate to other performers on stage.”
Waite has come to Meredith to work with the music department for the last four years, but this is her most lengthy visit. By the end of the opera’s production, she will have been at the College for over a month.
Waite is also presenting a master class, attending individual student lessons, and participating in the department’s recruiting and community outreach events. Prospective students who will be on campus for Scholars Weekend are invited to attend the opera.
Williams hopes the campus community will also attend a performance.
“If you’ve never heard an opera before, come and see what you think,” Williams said. “This opera is performed in English. This is a coming of age story, and it is funny, but also with real characters that are relatable to everyone.”
Performances are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Department of Music at ext. 8536.