WT Opera to stage soap opera parody ‘Gallantry!’

By Chip Chandler

Passion ignites in an operating room in the latest production by West Texas A&M University Opera.

“Gallantry! A Soap Opera Opera” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. March 31 to April 2 in the Fine Arts Recital Hall in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex.

Tickets are $10 or free for WT students, faculty and staff with a Buff Gold Card.

The farce, a one-act opera by Douglas Moore, is a parody of soap operas—complete with cliffhangers and commercial interruptions.

“It’s fun for all of the performers,” said Sarah Beckham Turner, assistant professor in WT’s School of Music. “It’s totally different than anything else we’ve staged—lots of jazzy elements, very American music.”

The opera will be staged by rotating casts in public performances and in outreach performances at area schools.

“I’ve never watched a soap opera except sometimes at 2 a.m. when I run across some wild Spanish-language one,” said Shannon Burr, a graduate vocal performance student from Harrisburg, Pa., who’ll perform as Nurse Lola Marcum in the March 31 show. “It’s really exciting to do something comedic and over the top. People are having appendectomies, not dying of consumption like they do in the serious works we normally do.”

“Our rehearsals are really playful,” said Audrey Reidling, a senior vocal performance major from Plano, who’ll play the commercial announcer in the April 2 staging. “When you lead with your character, everything else falls in line, so there are a lot of laughs.”

The March 31 performance will star Burr; Conner Nall, a senior music major from Canyon; Chloe Ridolfo, a music graduate student from Los Angeles; and Francesco DiLello, a music performance graduate student from Highland Mills, N.Y.

The April 1 performance will star Brooklynn King, a sophomore musical theatre major from Pearland; Zachary Todd, a junior musical theatre major from Highland Village; Ridolfo; and DiLello.

The April 2 performance will star Eleisha Miller, a senior music major from San Antonio; Nall; Reidling; and Mitchell Hernandez, a senior music major from Canyon.

Billy Boy Wax Girls will be played, in all stagings, by Faith Harrison, a senior music education major from Hereford; Erin Hinds, a sophomore vocal performance and music education double major from Amarillo; and Abigail Hite, a junior music major from Carlisle, Pa.

Outreach performances will be staged at 8:55 a.m. March 28 at Pampa High School, 1:15 p.m. March 28 at Lefors High School, 8:58 a.m. March 29 at Bonham Middle School in Amarillo, 10:30 a.m. March 29 at Crockett Middle School in Amarillo, 2:20 p.m. March 30 at Amarillo High School, and 10 a.m. March 31 at Borger Middle School.

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