November 3, 2023
As part of the Opera Workshop class, students in the Asbury University Music Department will perform “Dido and Aeneas” on November 10-11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Jameson Recital Hall. General tickets are $12 and $5 for students and virtual streaming: www.onthestage.tickets/show/asbury-university-music-department/651c5b01ac7a9e0e4094cba7
“This opera is a jewel of Baroque English Opera and regarded as one of the most beloved ever written,” said Coordinator of Vocal Studies and Senior Lecturer in Voice Dr. Marie-France Duclos, who also serves as the director of the opera. “It presents the love story following the destruction of Troy in Ancient Greek Mythology. We are presenting it in a fully staged version with the soloists, chorus, and Baroque Ensemble.”
Offered every other fall, the Opera Workshop class (VOC 300) offers training with chamber operas, light operas or operettas, and/or with opera scenes. Students get to learn roles, assist with aspects of technical execution, and/or perform the opera or assigned scenes.
“The Opera Workshop is a rewarding experience because it gives our young singers the opportunity to perform a major role with a small orchestra as an undergraduate,” Duclos said. “Performing opera roles is critical in a young singer’s development, and I find that it always helps students open up their voices and improve their vocal techniques.”
Juilliard-trained Instructor of Voice Dr. Sherri Phelps serves as assistant director of the opera.
“I enjoy working with the students and delving deeply into the characterization each one has to prepare,” Phelps said. “Working on an opera of this caliber challenges the students vocally and dramatically, and it’s been so rewarding to see how much they have grown and flourished during this process.”
Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Nathan Miller ’05 serves as orchestra director for the opera.
“We have a collection of excellent young singers performing in this opera,” he said. “And the students in the pit orchestra are also exceptional. It’s always a humbling experience to get the honor of leading such talented students and to work with such excellent colleagues.”
Students in the Opera Workshop share about their experience.
“Working with Dr. Duclos is a joy,” said Trueman Livingston ’25, who plays Aeneas (Nov. 11 performance). “She brings her passion of music to the cast and keeps everything afloat with her love for each of us.”
“My favorite part is seeing the growth and journey of my fellow cast members,” said Grace Monsanto ’24, who plays Dido (Nov. 10 performance). “The best part is getting to work with the amazing professors and instructors: Dr. Marie-France Duclos, Dr. Sherri Phelps, and Dr. Nathan Miller.”
The Asbury University Music Department offers a Music major (with emphases in composition and arranging, instrumental performance, pre-music therapy, vocal performance, and church music leadership), a Music Education major (with emphases in general music education, instrumental music education, vocal/choral education, and combined instrumental/vocal education), and a Music minor. Learn more: https://www.asbury.edu/academics/departments/music/.