Monthly Archives: March 2012

‘Hercules’ opera presented on BGSU stage

Bowling Green State University Opera Theater presents “Hercules,” adapted from George Frederic Handel’s oratorio, with libretto by Rev. Thomas Broughton and based on the writings of Sophocles and Ovid.

Dr. Ronald Shields, chair of the Department of Theatre and Film and stage director for the production, adapted Handel’s work from a three-act oratorio to a two-act, contemporary opera with choral sections and solos.

Set in a time when the gods spoke through oracles and Amore controlled people’s passions, the opera depicts the final day of Hercules, who has raised an army to retaliate against King Eurytus for refusing him the hand of his daughter as promised. Hercules has moved to Calydon and married King Oeneus’s daughter Dejanira. After accidentally killing the king’s cupbearer, he takes his family to safety in Trachis. Once there, Hercules and his army set upon King Eurytus and the people of Oechalia.

Performances are at 8 p.m. March 30 and 31 in the Donnell Theatre of the Wolfe Center for the Arts. The event is free, but seating is limited. Call the box office at 419-372-2719 for tickets.

BGSU student Benjamin Laur plays Hercules, along with Patrick Conklin as his son, Hyllus, and Laura Reaper as his wife, Dejanira.

The production is a collaboration between the College of Musical Arts and Department of Theatre and Film.

New music dean highlights college’s facets

Since coming to BGSU last July as dean of the College of Musical Arts, Dr. Jeffrey Showell has focused on raising the visibility of the college, which he describes as”pretty much a jewel.”

“It has rather amazing qualities. I know of no other music college in academia that has such a strong undergraduate music education program along with such high performance standards and a doctoral program in contemporary music. The challenge is representing all those and establishing
an identity.”

Already he has achieved a major objective of that goal — arranging with National Public Radio to produce a series of 13 hour-long, nationally syndicated programs highlighting aspects of the college’s inner workings, from the music education program to interviews with faculty to performances. Hosting will be alumna Jennifer Higdon, a Grammy- and Pulitzer-winning composer.

Funding for the series comes from Dorothy and DuWayne Hansen, longtime benefactors of the college. Dorothy is an alumna and DuWayne the former chair of the Department of Music Education.

“The stars were aligned to make this happen,” Showell said. “We couldn’t have done it without WGTE-FM’s Brad Creswell, who is producing the series, and the Wolfe Center for the Arts; before that, there wasn’t a place suitable for recording.”

The recent opera gala demonstrated how good the acoustics in the Donnell Theatre are—something that can’t be predicted until a performing space is complete, he said. And not only the Donnell but the Conrad Choral Rehearsal Room, which expands programming possibilities. “That’s been an unexpected side benefit,” Showell noted.

Showell has experience with opening new performing arts centers. At James Madison University, where he was director of the School of Music, he was deeply involved with all aspects of creating the university’s new center.

BGSU’s reputation for excellence in contemporary music allows the doctoral program to be highly selective, he said. “We get many applications but choose only four each year, so we have 20-25 students in the program at a time. We can be very picky.”

He is looking forward to the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music’s next New Music Festival in October, which, under the direction of oboist Jackie Leclair (who is “something of a creative organizing genius,” he said) will incorporate art along with an ecological theme, thus “broadening the festival’s appeal.”

“All these things happen because of someone’s hard work,” Showell says. “My job is to help find the resources to support them all.”

Trumpet Ensemble to perform at International Conference.

The BGSU Trumpet Ensemble has been invited to perform at the 2012 International Trumpet Guild Conference in May. The conference is in Columbus, Georgia and takes place from May 22-26. Members of the ensemble are: Lance Witty, Jared Nicholson, George Hammel, Thomas Darlington, Angela Berens, and Kevin Rahrig. The ensemble will perform “Guilded Fanfare” by James Stephenson and premiere “El Regalo” by David Bixler.

Thomas Darlington awarded Trumpet Scholarship

Tom Darlington has been awarded a scholarship through the International Trumpet Guild to attend the 2012 ITG conference in Columbus, Georgia. Students auditioning for a scholarship were required to submit a recording of the following works (18-22 year old category):
1. L.J. Vannetelbosch: Twenty Melodic and Technical Studies for Trumpet, Etude #15 (Alphonse Leduc)
2. E. Ewazen: Sonata for Trumpet and Piano, mvmt. 3 (Southern Music Co.)
Tom is a Junior Music Education major.

BGSU voice students place in NATS

On Saturday, March 3rd, the NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Regional Auditions were held @ Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Three BGSU voice majors competed and placed! Tatiana Gorbunova, student of Robert Satterlee, was their accompanist. Most of the contestants in the competition were from Michigan, Indiana, and Ontario, Canada. The three BGSU singers are students of Prof. Myra Merrit:

Briana Sosenheimer 2nd place Category 12 Advanced Women & Men

Theresa Zapata 1st place Category 13 Advanced Women & Men

Sarah Dudley Honorable Mention Category 8 Junior College Women