As part of the school’s yearlong symposium, “A Celebration of Appalachia,” the Opera Theatre performance will feature music and scenes from various composers and works of the region, including Eusebia Simpson Hunkins’ “Wondrous Love.”
Set in Appalachia, Hunkins’ “Wondrous Love” is a liturgical drama. Suitable for both the opera stage and the church music ministry, the work is about the birth of Christ.
“Scenes from Appalachia” will also feature John Jacob Niles’ “Gambler Songs,” excerpts from Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Old Maid and The Thief,” and Carlisle Floyd’s famous opera about Appalachia, “Susannah.” The Opera Theatre will be accompanied by pianist Lisa Moxley and banjoist Dr. Charles Priest.
“There is humor and heartfelt praise and adoration, as well as serious, thought-provoking drama on this program,” said Dr. Barbara Hudson, director of BC’s Opera Theatre Ensemble. “The production promises to have something to appeal to many different tastes.”
Bluefield College’s Opera Theatre is one of the school’s newest additions to the Department of Music. The ensemble provides the opportunity for students and music enthusiasts within the community a chance to learn the art and craft of lyric stage productions. Participants are given the chance to not only develop their singing and acting skills, but also learn through experience what is involved in producing, directing, and staging opera and music theatre performances.
“The Opera Theatre Ensemble brings added awareness to the Bluefield community regarding the contributions opera and music theatre have made to the arts,” said Dr. Hudson, “while providing opportunities for students to build directing, producing, and performing skills that they may one day use in their own careers.”
Open and free to the public, the “Scenes from Appalachia” performance is part of Bluefield College’s yearlong “Celebration of Appalachia.” The yearlong symposium features lectures, concerts, exhibits, discussions, movies, theatre, field trips, and other educational and entertaining activities designed to celebrate the history, culture, people and traditions of Appalachia.
“From the people, the work ethic, the loyalties and the challenges, to the natural beauty, the traditions, the music and the food, Appalachia is a fascinating and beautiful culture,” said BC President David Olive. “Author Jeff Biggers once said, ‘you can’t understand America until you understand Appalachia.’ Our desire through this yearlong symposium is to increase the understanding and appreciation for the region in which we live. We hope everyone will join us in this educational and entertaining venture, in this celebration of Appalachia.”
Other events confirmed for the symposium include:
— “Matewan,” the movie, Tuesday, November 15 at 6:30pm in Lansdell Hall 310
— “From Seeds to Songs,” a music workshop hosted by Andrew McKnight and Beyond Borders, Saturday, November 19 at 1 p.m., Harman Chapel
— “Beyond Appalachian, Beyond Blues, Beyond Folk,” a music concert, Saturday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m., Harman Chapel
— “An Appalachian Christmas,” presented by BC’s Masterworks Chorale, Thursday, December 1, 7:30 p.m., Harman Chapel
— “Appalachian News,” an art show presented by the Bluefield Daily Telegraph’s Bill Archer, December 9-February 16, BC Art Gallery, Lansdell Hall
— “African American Influences on Music of the Appalachian Region,” a concert by Bill Archer and Karl Miller, Thursday, January 26 at 7 p.m. in BC’s Quick Shott Café Coffeehouse, Shott Hall
For more information about the Opera Theatre performance or other “Celebrate Appalachia” events, visit the Bluefield College web site at www.bluefield.edu, or contact the BC Office of Public Relations by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 276-326-4212.