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Opera Theatre Presents Two Performances in April

UALR Opera Theatre will present two American operas, Tom Johnson’s “The Four Note Opera” and Virgil Thomson’s “Four Saints in Three Acts,” at 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.

operaTickets 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

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, soprano
  • Ekaterina Kotcherguina of Little Rock, soprano
  • Satia Spencer of DeWitt, contralto
  • Jansen Goodwin of Little Rock, tenor
  • Kevin Ezell of White Hall, baritone
  • Kristina Marinova is the music director and pianist.

“Four Saints in Three Acts” includes:

  • Shaina Erwin of Little Rock, soprano, as St. Teresa
  • Rachel Manasco of Little Rock, mezzo soprano, as St. Teresa II
  • Memory Apata of Maumelle, soprano, as St. Settlement
  • Satia Spencer of DeWitt, mezzo soprano, as Commere
  • Kevin Ezell of White Hall, baritone, as St. Ignatius
  • Luke Angelo of Little Rock, tenor, as St. Stephen
  • Ethan Ezell of White Hall, tenor, as St. Chavez
  • J.J. Albrecht of Monticello, bass-baritone
  • Derrick Herman of Monticello, bass-baritone, as St. Plan

Other featured performers are Shamelle Reveter of Gardena, Calif.; LaSheena Gordon of Little Rock; LaLeata Westbrook of Pine Bluff, and Shay Watson of Jacksonville.

The orchestra is led by guest conductor Justin Anders.