Opera Centenary presents “Illusion and Disillusion” April 12 and 13

SHREVEPORT, LA — Opera Centenary’s spring performance, titled “Illusion and Disillusion,” explores the promise of an ideal vision and the disappointment of reality through the medium of dramatic comedy. “Illusion and Disillusion” will be performed in Anderson Auditorium at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music on Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Featuring Seymour Barab’s short one-act opera, A Game of Chance, and scenes from Mitch Leigh’s Man of La Mancha and Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, “Illusion and Disillusion” showcases the talents of vocal students at the Hurley School of Music under the direction of Dr. Briana Sosenheimer. Hurley staff accompanist Ken Chan is serving as music director for the performance and will play the keyboard in the ensemble that also includes Centenary students Marta Bohaichuk (keyboard) and Eden Lee (percussion), and cellist Ruth Drummond.

In Barab’s A Game of Chance, three knitters gather, each yearning for their dream of either riches, fame, or love. The Representative of Fate offers them their desires and they later realize their dreams are not enough. The selections from Man of La Mancha by Mitch Leigh follow Don Quixote, Sancho, and Dulcinea as they struggle for their identity and purpose, while the excerpts from Street Scene by Kurt Weill provide a glimpse into the daily lives and happenings of an immigrant neighborhood in the late 1940s in New York City.

“These three works all show the promise of an ideal vision confronted by the disappointment of reality,” said Opera Centenary director Sosenheimer. “In A Game of Chance, the characters believe their lives will change for the better, if they were offered their wishes. The overarching concept of the impossible dream in Man of La Mancha is achieving the unattainable. The neighborhood in Street Scene hopes for a better life and better things to come. The thread weaving through these works is brilliant illusions that fade, revealing an appreciation for the present moment and what we have now.”

The “Illusion and Disillusion” cast includes Opera Centenary members Nina Guerrero, Ree Randolph, Destry Martignetti, Zane Harper, Keegan Tunstall, Angelo Nucal, Ethan Davis, Katie Allen, Brooklyn Howard, Mia Moreno, and Anna McCann.

“Once we started rehearsals, the students found it challenging to marry the intricate music with the physicality of movement onstage,” said Sosenheimer. “The students are excited for the opportunity to explore these great works and share them with the Centenary community. Opera Centenary is an ensemble that gives music majors and non-majors the chance to delve into opera along with preparing those headed to graduate school with role experience. I hope to continue expanding Opera Centenary in the future to offer diverse repertoire to our student performers and audiences.”

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