The Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company is no stranger to the best operas in history and to the best musical theatre performances. Within the past few years, the company has put on productions of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera, and they will soon present Giacomo Puccini’s final opera Turandot. The wide span of talent and ability shown by the members of the company to perform drastically different productions like this is a testament to the performers and all of the faculty at our School of Music.
On Thursday night, the fifty member team performed an evening of music showcasing both sides of the genre, from the icy melodies of Puccini to the bumping lines of Rodgers and Hammerstein. This performance, aptly titled the Magic of the Musical Stage, was a one-night only performance. The graduate students in the choral department were able to direct individual tunes that they wanted to hear performed for this event, and they chose everything from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte to LinManuel Miranda’s Hamilton. Many members of the ensemble were featured for the first time as soloists, and some familiar voices also took the listeners on a magical journey for the ears and eyes.
Aerialist Tjaden O’Dowd Cox’s performance of “Les Oiseaux Danse la Charmille” from Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman. In this particular piece, a magical doll sings and dances across the stage. The only downside? She needs to be wound up. While this was not an issue at first, it became an issue quite quickly when she was suspended over twenty feet in the air. Thanks to some quick thinking of her inventor, the doll was able to finish her song to thundering applause.
The two sides of the musical stage are often very different, but they inspire the listener all the same. The Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company’s stellar performance, mixed with incredible choreography, lighting, and orchestration made for a night that was full of magic for anyone in the audience. Music has an ability to make the listener feel something upon listening, and that inexplicable ability to change someone and influence them is precisely the definition of magic. It goes without saying that there are many wonderful things happening in the Orchestral and Choral departments at our university.