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Stravinsky and Walton studio operas presented by Jacobs School students

The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Department of Opera Studies announces the presentation of two short operas stage directed, conducted, and produced by students.

Marvra, by Igor Stravinsky, will be stage directed by Lesley Delk and conducted by Jamie Reeves. The Bear, by William Walton, will be stage directed by Kyung-Ook Kim and conducted by Stefano Sarzani.

The opera studio project, with lighting and costuming designed by students, will be offered as a free public performance in the Musical Arts Center (MAC 301), Thursday April 15, 2010, at 8:00 p.m.

The one-act opera buffa (comic opera) Marva, composed by Stravinsky and premiered in Paris in 1922, is based on a rhyming poem by Pushkin entitled "Little House in Kolmna." The opera is among the first of Stravinsky's neo-classic period and remained a particular favorite of his throughout his lifetime.

The cast for Marva consists of Tom Stoffel, Caryn Kerstetter, Jane Rownd, and Jacquelyn Matava. They will be joined two supers, Jacob Wooden and Kyle Barker.

Walton's comic opera, The Bear, with libretto is by Paul Dehn, is the second of two operas by the composer and has been described as an "Extravaganza in one Act". Based on the play by Anton Chekhov of the same title, it premiered in Aldeburgh in 1967. Compared with Walton's previous opera Triolus and Cressida, which used a large cast, full orchestra, and chorus, The Bear is deliberately minimal in its vocal and instrumental forces.

The comedy forms around the characters' relationships to reality and to each other and is set in the drawing room of a country house, around 1888.

The cast for The Bear consists of Lydia Dahling, Christopher Grundy, and Andrew Kroes.

"It is an honor to complete my degree by working with the design and technical crews of the Jacobs School of Music's Opera Department," said Delk, "and to have access to such extraordinary resources and facilities. I have grown to value and respect the work of my colleague, Kyung Ook Kim, and I am very much looking forward to finally seeing her opera performed. It promises to be an interesting and fun evening."

"Since both operas are comic and take place in Russia," said stage director Kim, "it will be interesting and fun to compare the two operas and how they use the same set."