Opera class performs arias

By CARISSA LUCKEY | Staff writer

Junior Keith Trimble’s voice echoed throughout Belin Chapel as the last note of his duet faded before he took a bow next to his singing partner junior Nicola Moss.

Moss and Trimble were part of “A Table for One – Arias & Monologues from Opera and the Stage,” a performance hosted by the School of Music Nov. 18. Melissa Givens, assistant professor in music, directed the students involved.

Once the audience settled, Givens introduced arias and monologues and briefly spoke about the students’ techniques during their performance. She also addressed how nerve-racking performing in front of a live audience can be.

“They’re terrified, but great,” she said, adding that the performers appeared to have conquered their fear of dialogue.

The first selection, “Cosi fan tutte,” which means “Thus do they all,” is an Italian opera that originated from the musical genius Wolfgang Mozart.

Senior sopranos Alexis Walker, Adrianna Nelson and Kortney Johnson captivated the audience with their rendition of the piece as they sang together about their characters’ horrible experiences with men.

The main character of the opera, performed by Walker, comes to the ultimate decision that women would be better off being faithful to themselves instead of men.

The next piece, “The Understudy” is a comical monologue written by the prolific American playwright Theresa Rebech.

Junior Brandon Jo began the scene walking from behind the audience, down the middle aisle and onto the stage. He centered himself in the middle of the stage and started to sing, occasionally addressing the audience directly.

Jo plays the character Harry, an actor who has been hired to understudy a film star in a Broadway production of a lost play that was recently discovered.

Jo talked about how acting is misunderstood and expressed a lot of those views to the audience.

Dr. Rhonda Furr, professor of music, said that supporting the performing arts is important, and she complimented the students’ work ethic.

“I’m here just trying to support the students,” Furr said. “They work so hard and it means so much to be able to see hard work pay off.”

Trimble, a baritone, said that he has been singing since he was six years old. He came to the University in 2010 and eventually became involved in the music program, a stepping-stone to his musical career.

He did not intend on being involved with the classical arena, but once he came to the University, he had no choice but to experience it, like in the performance.

He said he originally planned to major in biology but dismissed the idea because of his passion for music.

“You can’t force yourself to do anything you don’t want to do,” he said.

Jo also displayed his passion for music during the event. As his monologue drew to a close, he uncovered the truth behind the stereotype about students who study theater.

“People think that theater students are crazy, but the truth is, we are no different from the rest of the students,” Jo said.