Simpson Productions, the theatre, opera, and musical theatre collaboration at Simpson College, presents Cabildo by Amy Beach and Cendrillon by Pauline Viardot.
The double-bill opera opens on Friday, Feb. 17. in Pote Theatre in Blank Performing Arts Center at Simpson College in Indianola, IA. It will run Feb. 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Feb. 19 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 for adults, $17.50 for seniors and non-Simpson students, $16.00 for group (10 or more) tickets, and free for Simpson students with IDs.
Conducted by Dr. Bernard McDonald and directed by Kara Raphaeli, with lead roles by Tanner Striegel and Lyza Cue in Cabildo and Allison Blades and Miranda Young in Cendrillon, and performed with a professional orchestra, the operas will captivate the audience. In addition to the student performers two professional singers, Graham Brooks and Kathryn Frady, are a part of the cast of Cabildo. The production will take the audience on an adventure with pirates, a ghost, a fairy, and a magical dance.
Cabildo is about a group of tourists, including the newlyweds Mary and Tom, who tour the cell where the notorious pirate, Pierre Lafitte, was imprisoned during the War of 1812. The Barker tells the story of Pierre and his beloved Lady Valerie, then leads the group to another part of the Cabildo. Tom and Mary, linger in the cell to sing of their happiness. Tom rejoins the tour group while Mary remains, pondering the means of Pierre's escape. She falls asleep and dreams of the answer.
Written in 1932, Cabildo looks back at New Orleans right before the War of 1812. Nearly a century later, we can look back and see this work as part of the process of a still young America developing its mythology.
Cendrillon is a retelling of the fairytale Cinderella. The story is full of wit and charm. The plot remains relatively faithful to Perrault’s original fairy tale while taking a much more lighthearted approach than the other operatic adaptions. The evil stepmother is replaced with a bumbling and clueless stepfather, and the Fairy Godmother appears as a guest at the party and entertains the guest with a song.
“How do we understand the Cinderella story when there’s no evil stepmother around? When the sisters are selfish and superficial but also loving to Cinderella? When the prince falls in love with her before there even is a ball?” said director Kara Raphaeli. She notes that “Viardot’s Cendrillonis a different take on one of the best-known fairy tales.”
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