WMU News

Music and theatre collaborate on comic operas

March 14, 2005

KALAMAZOO--The one-act comic operas "Dr. Miracle" and "The Old Maid and the Thief" both explore what uninvited guests can do to a household and will be performed together for the first time in Southwest Michigan when the Western Michigan University School of Music and Department of Theatre collaborate for seven performances March 17-24.

Both operas are performed in English in the Multiform Theatre of the Gilmore Theatre Complex at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 17-19, and Tuesday through Thursday, March 22-24, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 20. All seating is general admission. An opening night reception sponsored by TCBY takes place after the March 17 performance.

In "Dr. Miracle," by acclaimed Carmen composer Georges Bizet, the doctor arrives to assist a young suitor in gaining a father's approval of marriage. Through old-fashioned trickery, the father's dinner doesn't taste the way it should, and he is forced to bargain for his daughter's hand. In "The Old Maid and the Thief," Gian Carlo Menotti offers an amusing tale in which a mysterious beggar comes to dinner and stays the night. When the criminal identity of this guest becomes known, his hosts try anything to get rid of him.

Carl Ratner, assistant professor of music, directs the one-act operas. "Dr. Miracle" and "The Old Maid and the Thief" were written in the 19th and 20th centuries, respectively, and capture the contrasts between the romantic and the modern darker compositional styles.

The cast of "Dr. Miracle" includes music majors Carmen Knox Smith, Tara Hammen, Julie Kersaan, Rachele Schmiege, Molly Crookedacre, Robert Potsic, Adrian Rosas, and Ben Bushkuhl.

"The Old Maid and the Thief" has a separate cast, including Kelley Schreiber, Eric Cadena, Erin Smith, Chris Hodson, Bruno Biernau, and Hans Ophami.

The production staff includes stage managers Lisa Watson and Kyle Waterman; costume designer Sara Brockman; lighting designer Kristen Carrier; prop master Marina Dettmann; and technical director Matt Gist.

Tickets for "Dr. Miracle" and "The Old Maid and the Thief" may be purchased by calling or visiting the University Theatre Ticket Office between noon and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number is (269) 387-6222. Admission for the general public is $16, $12 for senior citizens and WMU faculty and staff, and $7 for students. The box offices at Miller Auditorium and at the Epic Center in downtown Kalamazoo also sell tickets to University Theatre productions.

The 2004-05 season of the University Theatre is made possible through a partnership with Millennium Restaurant Group.

Media contact: Patrick Donnelly, 269 387-6222, patrick.donnelly@wmich.edu

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