“A Night in Seville” comes to KSU

Brooke Bower

Kent State Opera will present “A Night in Seville” as their annual gala fundraiser at 8 p.m. in Ludwig Recital Hall on Saturday.

“The fundraiser is to support the productions and activities of the opera program,” said Kerry Glann, director of opera. “It will help with the costs of our full production coming up in April.”

Glann said the fundraiser has been a Kent State tradition in the past, but disappeared for a while. Glann revived it when he took over as director last year. He said about 60 people came to last year’s fundraiser and that this year they’d like to see attendance increase to 100.

“We have no set financial goal,” Glann said. “We just want to spread awareness that we exist and reach beyond the university. We’re hoping supporters that love the opera will come check us out.”

“We want people to come inside out of the cold of the winter and experience Spain’s warmth,” said Kerry Glann, director of opera.

He said the production is more like a concert instead of a typical full opera production that tells a story. Glann said Fenlon Lamb, stage director of the opera, chose the theme of Seville, Spain to help them pick the music.

“The theme was a great opportunity to give us a little warmth from the winter,” Lamb said.

Glann said they’ve picked excerpts from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro,” Georges Bizet’s “Carmen” and Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” to perform. He said they have a set of Spanish-tinged songs they’ve taken excerpts from, too.

“We’ve picked four really well-known operas,” Lamb said. “They’re good for the students and the faculty since most have sung them many times. They’re also excellent for the audience’s entrance in to opera.”

Glann said there are 20 students, four faculty members and a guest performer in the opera. He said there are a few students who have feature solos: Alexandra May, Katie Harrison, Audra Casebier and Huiyu Zhang. The faculty performing includes Marla Berg, Lara Troyer, Tim Culver and Lamb. Glann said the guest performer, Brian Johnson, is well known in the area and has done a lot with the Porthouse Theatre and with the School of Music.

Glann and Lamb started putting the program together in December, over the winter break. Glann said they didn’t start rehearsing until the semester started and that they’ve been practicing for their April opera in addition to “A Night in Seville.”

“We want people to come inside out of the cold of the winter and experience Spain’s warmth,” Glann said.

Tickets are available at the door for $25 and $5 for students with their Kent State ID. The audience is invited to a reception after the performance.

Contact Brooke Bower at [email protected].