A little of bit music, a little bit of acting

Nicole Robinson

A young, mischievous child, who does not want to do his homework, throws a temper tantrum and abuses his belongings. Soon, his belongings become enchanted and come to life in an attempt to teach him a lesson.

Opera Workshop
Time:
7:30 p.m.
When: Monday
Location: Riverside Theatre, Haas Fine Arts
Cost: Free

This is what will be portrayed on stage by UW-Eau Claire students in the Department of Music and Theatre Arts opera workshop production of “L’Enfant et les SortilŠges” (The Child and the Enchanted Objects), by Maurice Ravel. This one-act opera will be performed in English at 7:30 p.m. Monday, in Riverside Theatre of the Haas Fine Arts Center.

The cast has been practicing two hours a week since the beginning of the semester, said director Mitra Sadeghpour, assistant professor of music.

“We tried something new in the opera workshop this year,” Sadeghpour said. Instead of most of the creative ideas coming from the director, the students were allowed to improvise and use their own creativity.

“They really got to own their own characters; I still directed it overall, but it allowed students to be creative, and it was a big lesson in freeing your creativity,” Sadeghpour said.

“(The performers) are getting to use their imaginations because they are playing the parts of the trees and frogs and teacups and other inanimate objects,” said musical director Kathryn Proctor Duax, professor of music.

Cast member junior Amanda Verstegen has been in productions in the past and said participating in this workshop is very beneficial.

“It makes you a better musician and a better actor,” she said. Trying to portray a character and sing at the same time is an interesting experience, Verstegen said.

Sadeghpour hopes that people of all ages who see the show will appreciate opera in a different way.

“I think people tend to think about opera as being very serious, and it really isn’t,” she said.

“L’Enfant et les SortilŠges” can be enjoyed by adults and children alike, Sadeghpour said.

The opera, which is a comedy, is an opportunity for people to see opera in a way that is not intimidating, Sadeghpour said.

The cast is comprised of 13 students. Junior Emily Weber will provide piano accompaniment and senior Erin Weaver designed the costumes. Admission is free and open to the public. The show runs just under an hour.

“The music is fun and wonderful,” Duax said. “The whole plot and story is

very imaginative.”