Twenty-three Luther College first-year students were selected to participate in the 2018 Opera Scenes Performances course, culminating in a 7 p.m. performance Tuesday, Jan. 30, in Jenson-Noble Hall of Music's Noble Recital Hall. The event is open to the public with no charge for admission. The performance will also be live-streamed to those outside of a 30-mile radius of Decorah, and available as a delayed stream to all 48 hours after the concert at http://www.stream.luther.edu/music.
The students auditioned for a role in the performance, and those who were selected were immersed in opera for the entirety of January.
The students are performing scenes from "The Marriage of Figaro," "Don Giovanni," "The Magic Flute," "The Elixir of Love," "The Old Maid and the Thief," "Trouble in Tahiti," "Susannah," "Bastien and Bastienne" and some pieces from contemporary musical theater repertoire.
Students performing in this year's opera scenes include Breanna Baljo, Elaina Bayse, MaClean Braun, Rebecca Bruce, Quinn Chamberlain, Emma Everitt, David Gorman, Alex Granfield, Jarrod Gross, Mikaela Hanrahan, Trevor Haren, Allison Houldson, Emily Lauer, Frances Marshall, Lauren Meier, Lauren Miller, Samuel Nelson, Blake Ochoa, Natalie Polak, Elliot Rickert, Colton Schlines, Jacob Southerland and Thomas Warden. Two pianists, CJ Heck and Martha Stelter, will accompany the performance. Both are juniors.
The opera scenes class is taught and directed by Carol Kreuscher, Luther adjunct faculty in music, and Rachel Storlie, Luther alumni guest lecturer in music.
Kreuscher earned music degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Texas-Austin. She has held fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival and the Stonybrook Bach Festival and has been a featured soloist at music festivals in Austria and the United States. Her opera credits include leading roles in "Cosi fan tutte," "The Ballad of Baby Doe" and "The Medium." Before coming to Luther, Kreuscher taught voice at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.
Storlie completed her bachelor's degree in music from Luther in 2010 and her Master of Music in vocal performance from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in May 2017. Recent engagements include her debut at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), Interharmony International Music Festival north of Milan, and the roles of Donna Anna, the Countess, Adriana Lecouvreur, and Susannah.
Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation, with six choirs, three orchestras, three bands, two jazz bands and more than 800 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. Nearly 275 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance. For more information about Luther's music department visit luther.edu/music.