UALR Opera Theatre Presents American Operas April 8,10

UALR Opera Theatre will present two American operas – Tom Johnson’s “The Four Note Opera” and Virgil Thomson’s “Four Saints in Three Acts” 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, and at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 10, at the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall in UALR’s Fine Arts Building.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for students and children. UALR students may obtain free tickets by contacting the music office in advance. More information on ordering tickets is available at 569-8993 or at ualr.tix.com.

The two operas were composed about 40 years apart, but UALR Opera Theatre Director Edward Crafts said they share a common heritage.

“Both of them are in some sense ‘absurdist’ operas, in that they do not have a plot, and can be interpreted in a number of ways,” he said. “‘Four Saints,’ from 1934, is an iconic American opera, often referenced but seldom performed, and the humorous ‘The Four Note Opera,’ written in 1973, is by a little-known minimalist composer of great talent.”

The cast for “The Four Note Opera” includes Erica Finnie of Judsonia, and Ekaterina Kotcherguina of Little Rock sharing the role of the Soprano; Satia Spencer of DeWitt as the Contralto; Jansen Goodwin of Little Rock as the Tenor, and Kevin Ezell of White Hall as the Baritone. Kristina Marinova is the music director and pianist.

“Four Saints in Three Acts” includes soprano Shaina Erwin of Little Rock as St. Teresa, mezzo soprano Rachel Manasco of Little Rock as St. Teresa II, soprano Memory Apata of Maumelle, as St. Settlement; mezzo soprano Satia Spencer of DeWitt as Commere, and other featured performers Shamelle Reveter of Gardena, Calif.; LaSheena Gordon of Little Rock; LaLeata Westbrook of Pine Bluff, and Shay Watson of Jacksonville.

Also in the cast are baritone Kevin Ezell of White Hall as St. Ignatius, tenor Luke Angelo of Little Rock as St. Stephen, tenor Ethan Ezell of White Hall as St. Chavez, bass-baritone J.J. Albrecht of Monticello, and baritone Derrick Herman of Monticello as St. Plan.

The orchestra is led by guest conductor Justin Anders.

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