Opera Studio class to perform ‘Mikado’ at Musical Hall

Devin Wilmott

The Music 301 class will present its Performance Opera Studio concert free to the public on Thursday, Nov. 21, in Martha- Ellen Tye Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. in Music Hall. 

Music 301 is taught by professors Mary Creswell and Jodi Goble. The students have been rehearsing for this concert every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the semester. The objective of the class is to learn all aspects of the process of opera production. Whether its through casting, coaching, staging, rehearsing or performing, the students have gathered the tools they need to present a successful operatic experience to their audience. 

“The music in this show is wonderful — upbeat, tuneful, witty lyrics — and it’s being sung very, very well by the ISU cast,” Goble said. 

The cast have prepared “The Mikado” by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. “The Mikado” is a classic comic operetta and will be sung in English, accompanied with a piano.

“Gilbert and Sullivan wrote enormously popular comic operas designed to poke fun at the excesses and neuroses of late 19th-century British culture,” Goble said. “’Mikado’ is a classic example: On the surface, it parodies the late-1800s British craze for all things Japanese, but what it’s really making fun of is the cultural climate of Victorian England itself: bureaucracy, corrupt politicians, human selfishness and the misuse of power, and that makes it universally relevant.

“In addition, there’s a convention in G&S to rewrite the lyrics of certain songs to reflect events and attitudes current with the production, which makes the parody even more pointed.” 

The students are expected to learn and memorize  their assigned role and comply with the expectations set from the directors and choreographer.

This is the students “final exam” for the class and both directors will determine the students final grades. 

“The Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall is a wonderful intimate space in which to stage opera — we hope to see a wide cross-section of the ISU community in attendance,” Goble said.