Opera studio snares national recognition
The WWU Opera’s April 2014 production of Benjamin Britten’s “A Midsummer Night's Dream” was awarded First Prize in Division 3 of the 2014 Opera Production Competition sponsored by the National Opera Association (“NOA”). The awards will be presented at the Gala Banquet of our National Convention on January 10, 2015.
The National Opera Association (“NOA”) was founded in 1955 to promote a greater appreciation of opera and music theatre, to enhance pedagogy and performing activities, and to increase performance opportunities by supporting projects that improve the scope and quality of opera. Members in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia participate in a wide array of activities in support of this mission. The NOA has primarily served education and performance activities in academic institutions and small regional opera companies.
The Western production was directed by Amber Sudduth Bone, and conducted by Roger Briggs, with musical preparation by Jay Rozendaal and choreography by Dance Professor Penny Hutchinson. Dipu Gupta, then in his first year as Assistant Professor of Set Design for the Department of Theatre and Dance, designed the scenery. Katelynn Walker and Ian McKnight, both seniors in Theatre/Dance, designed the costumes and lighting, which garnered many favorable comments. Teresa Micheletti was the production stage manager.
Western seniors Rachel Brown and Danielle Bayne portrayed "Helena", and "Hermia" and their lovers "Lysander" and "Demetrius" were played by Nick Kim and Patrick Kennedy. The role of "Oberon", written for a rare vocal type (countertenor) was sung by Western composition alum Brendan Littlefield, opposite the "Tytania" of LeeAnne Frahn, and aided by "Puck" (Ben Crabill). "Bottom" (Nathaniel Voth) was accompanied by the rustic band of "Flute" (Colton Myers), "Quince" (Billy Ekstrom), "Snout" (McKenzie Clark), "Starveling" (Evan Ingalls), and "Snug" (Sam Day).