BLOOMINGTON – Illinois Wesleyan University’s School of Music and Opera Theatre, in collaboration with the IWU Symphony Orchestra (IWSO), are teaming up to present two beloved one-act operas Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. each evening in Hansen Student Center. The performances are free and open to the public.
The double bill starts with Gian Carlo Menotti’s warm and compassionate opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” the story of the Three Kings who stop and visit a poor mother and her disabled son on their way to visit the newly born Messiah. Adjunct Instructor in the School of Music Jennifer Schuetz, whose father was a close friend of the composer, states, “the opera embodies the true spirit of Christmas.
Cast members include Kelly Riordan, Claire Challacombe, Keara Corbett, Madeline Hanrahan, Jake Scheuring, Andrew Johnson, Moises Garcia, and Ruth Reding Hoffart.
The second offering of the evening is “Trial by Jury,” an early work of William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, and a predecessor of their first great success, “H.M.S. Pinafore.” The farcical opera concerns a breach of promise of marriage when young rogue Edwin spurns the fair Angelina on the way to the altar.
The court proceedings are a hilarious satire, featuring a jury predisposed to be sympathetic to the Plaintiff, an unruly trio of bridesmaids, an overbearing Usher, wily Counsel for the Plaintiff, and a Learned Judge who appears to be anything but “learned.” Special guest performer and IWU alumnus Pat Gaik, on loan from the Conklin Dinner Theatre, will portray the Learned Judge.
Cast members include Filip Duda, Crystal Muro, Elisabeth Williams, Victoria Morford, Lyndsey Notaro, Elisabeth Reuter, Shannon Lynch, Andrew Johnson, Kristian Avise-Rouse, Mina McIntire, and Christopher Lerch.