The CMU Swinney Conservatory Opera Workshop Presents:

February always brings a ray of sunshine, regardless of the weather. Every year at this time Dr. Susan Quigley-Duggan, Central Methodist University professor of opera, leads a talented cast in a fun and sunny weekend of humor and music, usually, as is the case this year, from the genius of composers Gilbert and Sullivan.

 This winter’s workshop titled “Hail Poetry, Pirates, and Gondoliers!” will be presented on Thursday, Feb. 15 - Sunday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. (Thurs. – Sat.) and 4:00p.m. on Sunday in the Kountz Recital Hall, Swinney Conservatory, on the Fayette campus of CMU.

Tickets are $7 for general admission and $5 for seniors, CMU faculty and staff, and students.

The Gondoliers, full of fresh and delightful music is a story of mistaken identity and misplaced love, as is common in Gilbert and Sullivan operas. The King of Barataria was abducted in infancy and entrusted to the care of a gondolier. The gondolier raises the king as his son with his own child and grows unable to tell which boy is the king. One of these gondoliers is in line to become the king of Barataria; but, only his childhood nurse can tell them apart. To complicate things, the future king was married in infancy to the daughter of a royal couple and she is now brought in to be his queen. As both young gondoliers have just married local girls, and the arriving young woman is in love with someone else, the plot is, as usual, completely twisted. Through the confession of their foster mother, the rightful king is identified and all lovers are completely content.

The songs that will be performed from The Gondoliers include “List and Learn,” “Hail Gallant Gondolieri” and “Buon Giorno Signorine”; “We’re Called Gondolieri”; “Oh Rapture!” and “When along together/There was a time”; “When a merry maiden marries”; “Do not give way to this uncalled for grief!”;”Then one of us will be a queen”; “Dance a Cachuca”; “Now let the royal lieges gather round”; and “Once more Gondolieri!”

In Patience (or the Bride of Bunthorne), a comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, which makes fun of love in general and the aesthetic movement of the 1870s and 1880s in England, two poets are swarmed by available maidens whenever they quote their poetry. One has fallen in love with a maiden named Patience who loves the second poet but decides he’s too perfect for her own imperfect love; thus, they can’t marry. It is a hopeless situation that conveniently remedies itself so that Patience and her love can be together.

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