Manchester University
Oak Leaves

May 10, 2019

Trial by Jury

The advertisement for the one-act comedy.

Opera Workshop Players Perform One-Act Comedy 

Tiffany Williams


Manchester University is holding an opera workshop performance in Wine Recital Hall May 11 and 12, 2019.

Choir students, and some non-choir students, are helping put on the production of “Trial by Jury,” an opera written by Gilbert and Sullivan who have also written “Pirates of Penzance” and “HMS Pinafore.” “Trial by Jury” is a comedy about a bride who is abandoned at the altar and who decides to sue the groom in a court of law for breaking her heart. The judge appears, under the influence, and the jury, composed only of men, is swayed to the side of the plaintiff before the trial even begins.

The students who are playing the main roles are: Anthony Harris as the judge, Shannon Lee as the Plaintiff, Ben Tipton as the Defendant, Clayton Marcum as Counsel for the Plaintiff, Nolan McBride as the Usher, as well as Kayla Carver, Hailey Schneider, and LaDavie’a Shears, as the three Bridesmaids of the Plaintiff.

“I feel like my role adds to the humor that this opera wishes to present to the audience,” said Shears about her role as a bridesmaid. “I know the things I have to do in the opera make me laugh so much. I can’t wait to perform!”

The rest of the parts, including the Gallery members and most of the Jury men, are performed mostly by members of the A Cappella Choir. Selections from two other operas will be performed as well. Preceding “Trial by Jury” are excerpts from “Cosi fan Tutte” by Mozart and “Lecrezia” by William Bolcom. “Cosi fan Tutte” has a very classical opera sound but is also a comedy.

It’s the story of two sisters whose fiancées have gone off to war. The servants of the sisters have a little wager going as to whether or not the woman will be faithful in the absence of the soldiers. There are four people involved in the opera.

“I am playing Dorabella, who is one of the two sisters in the show mourning her fiancée going off to a foreign country,” said first-year Jenn Wagner. “My favorite part so far is really being able to relate to my character and portray her emotions on stage. I feel pretty prepared and am really excited.”

“Lecrezia” is a 20th century opera that takes place in Spain where a mother wants very much to have a grandchild. Her daughter is indifferent about the idea, so the mother finds a magic potion that will help her daughter become pregnant and immediately strike dead the man who fathers the child. The man who concocts the potion is secretly in love with the daughter, Lecrezia, and hopes to take place of her husband.

This opera workshop production will be performed on May 11 at 7 p.m. and May 12 at 3 p.m. in Wine Recital Hall. “I’m very proud of each student involved in this production,” Director Debra Lynn said. “Everyone has worked very hard. Comedy is much tougher than it looks.”