Opera to Present The Medium and The True Story of Cinderella

Nov. 21, 2017

The Medium and The True Story of Cinderella

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University’s Opera Theatre will present a production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium and Warren Martin’s The True Story of Cinderella on Nov. 30 at 8 p.m., Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. All performances are free and open to the public and will take place in Presser Hall’s Westbrook Auditorium.

A dramatic opera, The Medium tells the story of Baba, a sham medium who pretends to communicate with the dead to give hope to loved ones in exchange for money. Several intense scenes unfold as Baba imagines that some unseen person or force is trying to kill her and slowly goes mad. Although a “heavy” production, according to Visiting Professor of Music and Director of the Opera Theatre Program Robert Mangialardi, Baba’s young daughter Monica and adopted mute son Toby provide touching moments in the opera as they share the story with Baba.

“The music is stunningly beautiful and dramatic, but very challenging to sing and act,” Mangialardi said. “It will keep you on the edge of your seat.”

Accompanied by a 15-person orchestra, cast members include: Philip Duda '19, Andrew Johnson '20, Aaron Kahn '19, Louisa Klemperer '18, Kate Masson '18, Crystal Muro '19, Kelly Riordan '19, Stephanie Rudi '20 and Elizabeth Turner '18.

The True Story of Cinderella is just the opposite. As performers present a “humorous and lighthearted” retelling of a well-known classic, the piece will add some “comic flair” to the evening.

“The piece is just pure fun, with great tunes, and will send the audience out the door with a smile on their faces,” Mangialardi said.

Performed in oratorio style – without a set or blocking – the piece will be accompanied by piano and chime, and will feature narrators President Eric Jensen on Dec. 1 and Dec. 3, and Adjunct Instructor in the School of Music Jennifer Schuetz on Nov 30 and Dec. 2.

Cast members include: Kristian Avise-Rouse '20, Claire Challacombe '20, Philip Duda '19, John Fegan '17, Christina Fitsalos '19, Ruth Reding Hoffart '20, Aaron Kahn '19, Shannon Lynch '18, Kate Masson '18, Joshua Mikaili '21, Victoria Morford '20, Lyndsey Notaro '20, Sam Villano '20 and Elisabeth Williams '20.

By Vi Kakares '20