When I was writing about Winter Term a few weeks ago - about how people were either really busy or really relaxed - I probably should have included a subclass for the "really busy" folks: the opera performers. One of the perks of being so involved in choir is that I have a great number of friends who are performing Mozart's The Magic Flute this weekend, which has helped me get an impression of the vast amount of work that it's taken them to put the production together. Not only did they need to have their music completely down and memorized near the beginning of the term, they were going through hours of blocking almost every evening, culminating in lengthy dress rehearsals and now full performances of the work.
It's easily a commitment of dozens of hours every week that they've put into this, which would be stressful enough if participating in the opera was a 3 credit course. And yet the opera is a 1 credit course, which freed everyone to take another winter term course if they were so inclined. Many of my friends decided to take a 3 credit course in addition to the opera, adding another several dozen hours of work to an already busy term. And that's not even including the ones who have actual paying jobs on the side. Between the major rehearsal commitments, hours of reading and writing for other classes, and nights spent behind a cash register or as a restaurant server, I have no idea how some of them are still standing, let alone producing such an excellent show.
And yet everyone has not only made it through the term so far, they've also put on a fantastic opera. Opening night was last night, but I didn't get to go until the matinee this afternoon. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you guys that the entire cast and crew of this show put on a top-notch, professional quality production. The singing and acting of the cast were both pretty well done - Devon Sedrick especially stole the show as the excitable, lovesick bird-catcher Papageno, but everyone in the cast certainly brought their A-game as well. The casting decisions really nailed each actor to the proper role to a T. Everyone disappeared into their roles perfectly. Even though the cast was made up of familiar faces, it never felt like I was watching my friends act. I didn't see Jordan Bowman performing an aria, but I saw the Queen of the Night giving her daughter an important task.
The pit orchestra and all the behind the scenes folk deserve serious kudos, too. The great costumes, wonderful lighting techniques and clear mastery on the part of the musicians gave the opera a professional edge that made the student production all the more impressive. A lot of time was obviously put into this production from all sides, and as a viewer, I really appreciated it.
Despite the cold, I ended up going out for dinner and ice cream with a friend of mine after the show, which turned out to be a pretty serendipitous decision, since I ran into two recent alumni who had also decided to have ice cream at the same exact time. Nothing like an improptu chill session with old friends! (Chill because...you know...ice cream...I'm sure you're laughing, too, don't try to deny it). Perhaps that flute in the opera really was magical?
Only one way to find out for yourselves! Go see the opera before it closes!
Clayton is a junior creative writing major from Meridian, Idaho.