PSU opera gears up for busy spring

Magic Flute
May 4,5,8,11,12
7:30 p.m.
Lincoln Hall
$17 adults; $13 seniors and PSU faculty/staff; $9 students; $7 PSU students with valid ID
PSU Box Office
(503) 725-3307

Ellen Faull
April 7, 2-4 p.m.
Lincoln Hall
Gibner Scholarship
April 8, 1 p.m.
Lincoln Hall

If you’re intested in classes taught by masters, singing for a scholarship, watching an opera, or simply theater in general, you’ll find it at PSU.

The opera theater program, directed by Ruth Dobson, enables PSU students and faculty to apply classroom theory to the real-world challenges of working artists, musicians, actors and architects. These efforts paid off recently when the National Opera Association recognized the opera program with a first place award in their competition.

Completing the opera’s already strong harmony, three of the top four spots in the recent Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions went to PSU students.After building a resume like this, there is little doubt that the “Magic Flute” will be another success. Mozart’s comic masterpeice weaves fantasy, vivid characters, fantastic settings and music that has echoed down through history. The performance will be accompanied by a full orchestra led by Keith Clark and sung in German with English subtitles. Clark will be returning to PSU for his third production, after being the highlight of last year’s success with “The Marriage of Figaro.”

Starting April 4, in Lincoln Hall, “The Magic Flute” has proven itself to be one of the great stories of all time. The young Prince Tamino is off on a dangerous adventure where love triumphs over evil. He must save the beautiful Princess Pamina from her kidnappers. Before the story has run its course, they must battle serpents, sorcerers and a wicked queen.

The tale takes place in ancient Egypt where the music adds to a perfect blend of magic, mystery, romance and comedy. Completed in 1791, “The Magic Flute” premiered only three months before Mozart’s death at the age of 35.

The student cast features familiar names from last year, including Carolyn Coefield and Audry Luna who share the role of Pamina. Other key singers are Jason Ogan, Stacey Murdock, Ginger Land, Konstantin Kvatch, Austin Rial and Paul Elison.

April 7-8 is being called “Opera Weekend” as the PSU Opera Theater celebrates their performance of “The Magic Flute.” A vocal masters class will kick off the events taught by esteemed voice coach Ellen Faull. Faull, professor emeritus at the Juilliard School, whose students perform at the Metropolitan Opera, has maintained a long association with Portland State University during her years in the Portland area.

Dawn Upshaw, Sarah Brightman, Veronica Villaroel, Hye-Kyung Hong, Youngok Shin and Michela Gurevich are a few of the world class voices that have studied under her.

On April 7 at 2 p.m., she will unveil the newest generation of talent from PSU. These sopranos include Audrey Luna, Carolyn Coefield, Lisa Golda, Amy Cole, Michele Wilson and Erin Anderson.

The second event will be held the following day, April 8 in the same room. At 1 p.m. the Gibner Memorial Scholarship awards $2,500 to a worthy PSU voice student, based on the outcome of a public audition. The scholarship will be presented by baritone William J. Ryan in memory of Gibner King, who coached and accompanied for 50 years in New York before moving to Portland the final 20 years of his life.

King accompanied or coached leading Metropolitan Opera artists Ezio Pinza, Grace Moore and Gladys Swarthout. Portland singers Alyce Rogers, Ruth Dobson, Marie Peake and Bonnie Henleys were also students.

Tickets for the opera were availible at the start of April and can be obtained by contacting the PSU Box Office at (503) 725-3307. Last year, “The Marriage of Figaro” played to five sold-out houses.