During this January Term, several Luther College first-year students are participating in the 2019 opera scenes performance course. The course culminates in a performance at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, in the Noble Recital Hall in Jenson-Noble Hall of Music on Luther's campus.
The performance 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.
In order for each of the scenes and songs to be linked together in a seamless flow, the upcoming production is set in a modern café called, "Java Jenson." The students are performing modernized adaptations of scenes, arias and art songs by Bernstein, Donizetti, Fauré, Gilbert and Sullivan, Mozart, Nicolai, Schubert and Strauss.
Luther students performing in this year's opera scenes include first-years Presli Abraham, William Benjamin, Camille Blanford, Liz Burton, Megan Elford, Indigo Fish, Brynn Guth, Kien Huynh, Erik Johnson, Jack Jorgensen, Juhl Kuhlmeier, Jessica Labenski, Kloey Lekatz, Chloe McDonnell, Ben Meyer, Hunter Meyer, Noah Parulski, Abby Trewin and Madeline Wilkins, as well as Joshua Burniece, '20. Luther pianists CJ Heck, '19, and Joshua Burniece will accompany the performance.
The class taught and directed by Luther voice faculty Deborah Gover and Carol Kreuscher. Students spend the month of January experiencing a foretaste of the world of opera, a dramatic art form in which a story is set to music for singers and instrumentalists. In regards to presenting the show in a café, Gover and Kreuscher commented, "[This production's] contemporary neutral setting allows diverse songs, arias and scenes to make sense in the program…the audience is able to understand an updated version of the pieces."
Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation, with five 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.