Opera theater returns with collection of songs for performance

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Brian Hayes

Alan Held, associate professor of voice, conducts students during the a practice for the upcoming show “Scenes and Songs.”

The Opera Theater will return to the stage this weekend with a “Scenes and Songs” performance.

“The main thing for audiences to know is that this is not a full opera production like we did last November,” said assistant director Morgan Buie. She said that the performance will instead be a collection of different songs and scenes from other operas.

Performer Julia Pottinger said the scenes are from completely different operas, which can throw off audiences who are trying to follow a plot. Instead, the scenes are connected by universal themes rather than a branching narrative.

“Our director, Alan Held, staged the program as if we were all students in a school,” Pottinger said, “While we are not performing in our specific scene, we are still ‘alive’ as our school character.”

Pottinger said this dynamic allows characters to take the spotlight during their scene, and then become a part of the background in the others. Since each character is consistently present during the entire performance, it helps weave together the otherwise unrelated scenes.

Pottinger also says this provides a unique challenge for performers, as they have a limited timeframe with which to establish the essence of their characters.

“At the end of the day, it’s very similar to a concert or a musical revue, almost like a celebration of the more reputable scenes in Opera history,” Pottinger said.

The “Scenes and Songs” opera performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday in Wiedemann Hall. The show is around 90 minutes long with no intermission and students can view the performance for free.