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News Release




Opera at Manchester College:

It’s more than the performance

       The actual performance of A Night at the Opera over the March 30 - April 1 weekend at Manchester College isn’t the end result of the opera workshop that precedes it.

       “The workshop will help our students understand opera and gain an appreciation for the kind of genius required to compose opera,” says Dr. Debra Lynn, music director and associate professor of music. “I also want our students to learn about the kind of self-discipline and diligence it takes to learn an opera role and get it ready for performance.”

       The three performances in English – 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 1 – are in Wine Recital Hall on the North Manchester campus. Tickets ($5) are available at the door, but reservations are recommended: 260-982-5426.

       “Clear diction is incredibly important in performing opera,” notes Lynn. “If the singers don’t remember to enunciate properly, it can sound like gibberish, leaving the audience very frustrated about the plot.”

       At the workshop, students also will learn to depend upon each other to remain on pitch during long dialogue passages, to time their stage movements to the music and keep their vocal instrument in shape for the difficult and taxing opera music.  

       Students will present three scenes, all well-suited to their voices, notes Lynn. The program opens with the one-act The Old Maid and the Thief by Gian Carlo Menotti. Next comes the Act I finale of Cosi fan Tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The students will close with Brindisi and the Act II finale of  La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi. Michael Good of North Manchester is the pianist.

       The evening begins with a welcome by the three composers, presented by seniors Andrew Leavens (Mozart) of Milroy, Andrew Haff (Verdi) of Westminster, Md., and Jesse Reid (Menotti) of Richmond.

       Other performers: senior mezzo-soprano Allison Hoover of Flossmoor, Ill.; sophomore soprano Leslie Butterbaugh of Wabash; junior baritone David Moan of Goshen; sophomore mezzo-soprano Cori Miner of Elgin, Ill.; senior soprano Rachael Heath of Fort Wayne; soprano Katherine McCann of Homewood, Ill.

       Also, junior tenor Joel Waggy of Goshen; senior bass Michael Spaulding of North Vernon, Ind.; senior baritone Andrew Suhre of Michigantown; sophomore tenor Jeffery Combs of Wabash; senior soprano Audrey Lucker of North Manchester; first-year soprano Anna Harvey of Indianapolis; first-year baritone Zachary Blatz of Wabash.

       Also, sophomore contralto Kacie Gauby; first-year tenor Nicholas Kenny of Fort Wayne; first-year soprano Nicole Anderson of Frewsburg, N.Y.; sophomore contralto and choreography assistant Ayana Brown of Lafayette;  first-year mezzo-soprano Tiffany Berkebile of Walkerton; sophomore soprano Lacrisha Clinton of Terre Haute; junior mezzo-soprano Heidi Gonyea of Kokomo; junior bass Jonathan Largent of Muncie and sophomore soprano Olesya Savinkova of Uzbekistan.

       For more about music study at Manchester College, visit

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Some members of Manchester College’s cast of La Traviata, from left, Row 1: Anna Harvey, Ayana Brown, Audrey Lucker, Cori Miner; Row 2: Jon Largent, Michael Spaulding, Zachary Blatz, Joel Waggy; Row 3: David Moan, Katherine McCann.