WSU students, alums to play prominently in Opera Kansas show
Dec 6, 2010 4:41 PM | Print
Followers of Wichita State University's opera theater can follow their favorite student performers to "Christmas Rappings," an Opera Kansas production at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, through Saturday, Dec. 11, in different venues each night.
There is no admission charge, but free will offerings will be taken. The venues are:
Thursday, Dec. 9, Summit Church, 10225 E. Kellogg; Friday, Dec. 10, Plymouth Congregational Church, 202 N. Clifton; and Saturday, Dec. 11, University Congregational Church, 9209 E. 29th St. N.
"Christmas Rappings" is a charming Christmas oratorio, said WSU director of opera Marie Allyn King, and it's a family show.
"I saw it in New York City in the '70s and still have vivid memories of it," said King. "It's a moving, funny, quirky and heartfelt telling of the Christmas story."
The cast features local professional singers as well as some of King's current and former voice and music theater students.
Composed by Al Carmines in 1969 for Judson Poets Theatre in Greenwich Village, New York City, "Christmas Rappings" is the Christmas story with a popular appeal. The text, with the only exception being "Holy Mary, Mother of God," is entirely from the New Testament, set to a lively and eclectic score written for the diverse group of performers Carmines had on hand at the time.
King said what audiences will find is a splendidly operatic tenor as The Angel Gabriel, three gospel voices as the wise men, a vaudeville rendition of the Annunciation, and so on. Each chapter unfolds in a different voice, a different style. It's always reverent, always entertaining.
It will be the premier showing of "Christmas Rappings" outside of New York City, said King. The delightful score has something for everyone. Styles range from classical to jazz, Broadway, gospel, blues and even a little country. Sixteen singers tell the story in song, text and dance.
Christmas carols will follow at a wine and cheese reception immediately after each performance.
Music direction is by Arri Simon. The cast consists of current WSU students Catherine Bartomeo, Matthan Black and Steven Cox; WSU alumnae David Feiertag, Trish Garnes and Stephanie Gilmore; Marilyn Heffner; WSU students Jacob January, Kylie Jo Jennings, Yung Jin Lai, Ross McCorkell and Emily Moore; Dustin Peterson; WSU alumna Virginia Revering; and WSU students Abigail Whittle and Brian Yeakley.
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