'Opera Scenes' ready to take stage at Lander

March 21, 2012

Lander Opera Scenes

Students participating in Lander's upcoming Opera Scenes performance are, back row from left: Jacob Seigler, Corey Geddings, Nicholas Dickerson, Markela Dandy and Kelly Broome. Front row from left: Corrie Woods, Kayla Goldman, Shelby Straight and Haley Shelton. Not pictured are Hobson Chandler Jr., Heather Harris and Jessica Hart.

The Lander University Department of Music will present "Operatic Life or Death" on Tuesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. in the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium.

Under the direction of Dr. Lila Noonkester, department chair, and accompanied by Amy Blackwood on piano, opera workshop students will perform works by Gian Carlo Menotti, Giacomo Puccini, Gaetano Donizetti, George Gershwin and Aaron Copland.

Noonkester reflected on the history of the Opera Scenes program at Lander, going back to 1993 when she directed her first opera scenes performance. At that time, she said, many of her voice students had little experience with opera, and she found that they "simply needed the door opened to the world of opera." Since then, she added, Opera Scenes has continued to produce successful programs that are enjoyable for both the student performers and the audience.

The March 27 program will include a selection from Menotti's "The Old Maid and the Thief;" Puccini's "Sister Angelica;" Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love;" two songs from Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess;" and will conclude with "The Promise of Living," from Aaron Copland's "The Tender Land."

Lander students performing in the Opera Scenes program are: Jacob Seigler, of Gilbert; Corey Geddings, of Holly Hill; Nicholas Dickerson, of Denmark; Markela Dandy, of Graniteville; Kelly Broome, of Starr; Corrie Woods, of Leavenworth, Kan.; Kayla Goldman of Greenwood; Shelby Straight, of Easley; Haley Shelton, of Greenwood; Hobson Chandler Jr., of Greenwood; Heather Harris, of Pelion; and Jessica Hart, of Starr.

Noonkester said the program was inspired by an upstate collegiate performance of Aaron Copland's "The Tender Land."
"What better way to close our show than with the lyrics, 'the promise of growing is born of our singing in joy and thanksgiving,'" she said.

Admission to the program is free and open to the public. Doors will open 30 minutes before curtain time.

For more information, contact Lander's College of Arts and Humanities at 864-388-8323. Information about other upcoming events is available at www.lander.edu.