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C of I opera presents Handel’s ‘Semele’

The College of Idaho Music Department is pleased to announce its 2013 opera production, an adapted performance of G.F. Handel’s "Semele." The opera will show at 7:30 p.m. nightly from Jan. 31 through Feb. 2, with a special 2 p.m. matinee performance on Feb. 2. All shows will take place inside Langroise Recital Hall. Tickets cost $10 for adults or $5 for seniors and students. For more information or to reserve seats, please contact the Langroise box office at 459-5249.

Semele is an opera told in English. The C of I production stars students Jordan Bowman and Katy Lootens in the title role with C of I music professor Brent Wells as music director and conductor, Bowman as artistic and stage director and C of I music professor Mari Jo Tynon as producer.

“It’s been a great collaboration,” said Wells. “Everybody involved on the directing side brings a different strength to the table. Everybody is working hard, we have a cast full of great singers and this is a really fun, modern retelling of the Semele myth. I have no doubt that it will be a great show.”

Other members of the cast include Anna Lintner-Majernikova, Danielle Danker, Decker Hinckley, Kevin Writer, Dawson Bonde, Danielle Blenker, Amy Weakland, Zach Buker, Devon Sedrick, Caleb Tracey, James Kinney and Edie Dull. The opera will be accompanied by the C of I String Quartet, which includes students Holly Lawrence, Maggie Torrey, Adele Rosen and Kyle True, with Cynthia Wells on harpsichord.   

Handel’s original work is based in Greek mythology, but the C of I version has been modernized by Bowman. The show is set in the 1920s, where Semele is holding an engagement party but secretly carrying on an affair with Jupiter, portrayed as a mafia-like figure of authority.

“We are using a modern sense of the characters to make the show more relatable to the audience,” said Bowman, a junior majoring in musical performance. “We are hoping to bring to campus and to the Caldwell community a cultural experience that doesn’t happen very often here in Idaho.”

Bowman added that the opera is double-cast, with the actors alternating performances throughout the four shows. She encourages people to “come twice, because it’s going to be a totally different show.”

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.