FSU Presents 'The Marriage of Figaro'
The Fayetteville State University (FSU) Summer Opera Series will continue with its third production, a performance of Mozart's opera, "The Marriage of Figaro," Friday, July 18, and Saturday, July 19, in Seabrook auditorium on the campus of FSU.
Tickets will be $10 for adults, $5 for children, and $8 for senior citizens and military. Evening performances will begin at 7:30, and the children's matinee will be held on Saturday, July 19, at 1 p.m.
This production will be produced and conducted by Dr. Marvin Curtis, assistant dean of the FSU graduate school and choir director. Curtis served as musical director for "The Magic Flute" and "H.M.S. Pinafore," directed "Amahl and the Night Visitors" for six seasons, and served as president of the Fayetteville Symphony Board of Directors. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Fayetteville Cumberland County, North Carolina Humanities Council, Cumberland County United Way, WTVD Minority Advisory Board, and is coordinator of the FSU Fine Arts Series.
Artistic director will be Phoebe Hall, director of theater at FSU, an actress that has appeared in more than 125 roles on stage and directed more than 40 shows. With performances in regional television commercials and more than 14 years of teaching experience in speech, theater, acting, directing, stage movement, creative dramatics, and voice and diction, Hall staged the production of "The Magic Flute" and "H.M.S. Pinafore."
This production has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America Program, Cumberland County Tourism Development Authority, the Youth Growth Stock Fund, and the Arts Council of Fayetteville Cumberland County. A grant was submitted to the North Carolina Arts Council.
A special children's matinee will be held on July 19 at 1 p.m. sponsored by The Youth Growth Stock Fund. This one-hour presentation is designed for youth and their families, and tickets are free. Interested persons and groups can go to the Web site, www.uncfsu.edu/fah, for information on tickets for this event.
Four international singers have been chosen for lead roles.
They are Ivan Griffin from Flint, Mich., who performed the role of Papageno in "The Magic Flute" in 2006 and is a member of the vocal faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich. Griffin has a bachelor's degree in music from Southern University in Baton Rouge and a master's degree in music performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music. He is currently touring with "Porgy and Bess" in Europe and will be playing the role of Count Almavia.
Countess Almavia will be performed by Dr. Louise Toppin, professor of Voice at East Carolina University and director/president of the Videmus Organization, who portrayed the Queen of the Night in "The Magic Flute." She earned a bachelor's degree in music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master's degree in voice from Peabody Conservatory of Music, and a doctorate of musical arts from the University of Michigan.
Bartolo will be performed by Dr. Frank Ward, recitalist and opera singer who sang the role of Sarastro in "The Magic Flute." Ward holds degrees from Morehouse College and the University of Michigan.
The title role of Figaro will be performed by baritone Gregory Gardner, voice professor at Norfolk State University and Hampton University. He majored in voice at Howard University where he earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in music. Much of his time has been spent performing musical theater, opera and oratorio, creating such roles as Papageno in "The Magic Flute" and Figaro in "The Marriage of Figaro."
Additional cast members include Kristen Campbell of Fayetteville, who was Pamina in "The Magic Flute." She will play the role of Susanna. Johanna Young, a recent graduate of Wake Forest University, will perform the plucky Cherubino; Ashley Kotz, who graced the stage of FSU in "The Magic Flute" as Papagena and sang the lead of Josephine in "H.M.S. Pinafore," will sing the role of Barbarina. Gail Morefesis of Fayetteville, who appeared in "The Magic Flute" and "H.M.S. Pinafore," will sing the role of Marcellina. Bruce Cook will sing the role of Antonio, and FSU student Clayton Riddle will perform the role of Basilio. Recent FSU graduate Michael Jones will sing the role of Don Curizo.
For further information, contact Curtis at (910) 672-1276.
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