October 24, 2012

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Opera Presents ‘Candide’ Oct. 27-28

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University Opera will bring Leonard Bernstein’s comic operetta “Candide” to the Whitehead Auditorium stage at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28. Admission is $20 for adults, free for VSU students with appropriate identification, and $5 for non-VSU students.

Based on the novella of the same name by Voltaire, “The subtitle of ‘Candide’ is ‘Optimism,” and this is the central issue of the work,” Dr. Kenneth Kirk, musical director and conductor, shared. “As Einstein put it, ‘Is the universe basically a friendly place?’ In ‘Candide,’ Voltaire shows himself to be not so much pessimistic as realistic. There is indeed evil in the world, but there is also the possibility for value and love and improvement. Whether or not this is the best of all possible worlds, it is the only one we have, and the burden is on us to seek the good.”

Narrated by Raymond Hughes, a native of Thomasville and former chorus master of New York’s Metropolitan Opera, and starring Thomas Trotter, a nationally known Atlanta-based opera singer, as the title character, VSU’s production of “Candide” features a cast comprised of university students and faculty, guest artists, and a 27-member chorus of alumni from the Department of Music.

“VSU Opera attempts to innovate with each new production,” Kirk added, “this year we have added an alumni chorus. A music department homecoming spanning four decades is happening on Whitehead stage this weekend.”

Whitehead Auditorium is located on the first floor of VSU’s Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

Call (229) 333-2150 or visit ww2.valdosta.edu/music/opera to purchase tickets or to learn more.

Warning: Much of Voltaire’s humor comes from his outrageous satire, which makes for hilarious, but also rude and risqué, comedy. Opera is often not politically correct, and viewers are warned that “Candide” is an equal opportunity offender.

Producer/Director: Carol Mikkelsen

Musical Director/Conductor: Kenneth Kirk

Stage Director/Choreographer: Eric Nielsen

Projection Artist: Hollis Barnett

The Cast: Thomas Trotter (Candide); Caroline Hatchett (Cunegonde); Raymond Hughes (Narrator, Pangloss, Philosopher); Jacque Wheeler (Old Lady); Ethan Parker (Maximilian, Fashionista, First Prosecutor); Tabitha Tapia and Rakeeta Laird (Paquette, Fashionistas); Antoine Bray (Governor, Candide understudy); Nathan Calvert (Vanderdendur, alternate Narrator, Jew, Narrator understudy); Nicholas Baggarly (Baron, Captain, Archbishop, Rev. Father); Lacie Hall (Baroness); Chad Capers (Prince, Second Prosecutor); Ashley Hamilton (Student, Soldier); Mariah Hollis (Student, Cheerleader, Model); Esther Maloof (Soldier, Old Lady understudy); DeVante Graham and Ethan Parker (Dancers); Rob Evans, Paul Neal, and Karl Paoletti (Referees); Wayne Ellerbee (Grand Inquisitor, Donald Trump); Ann Brightwell McCord (French Model); Hillary Lee, Hannah Hitchcock, Tyler Walker, Allie Peterson, Paul Neal, and Austin Rivers (Resident Chorus)

Music Alumni Chorus: Ann B. McCord, Kathy Lincoln, Nancy Morris, Salli-Tymna Parker, Suzanne Chafin, Christy Pinto, Adrienne Reissiger, Jane Timmers, Teresa Tucker, Rhenda Parker, Laura Rudisail, Virginia Hall, Rachel Rumstay, Tammara Housel, Lynn Derringer, Lauren Harris Lott, Renee Terns, Crystal Moody, Sarah Riggle, Steve Kelley, Brandon Bush, Andrew Hill, Matthew Mainella, Keefer Peterson, Adrian Rivers, Rusty Weatherington, and Thomas Whiddon

Orchestra Personnel: Nina Lutz, Alex Reshetnichenko, Kristin Pfeifer, Natalie Chang, Mariana Krewer, and Katie Trotter (violin); Daniela Cruz and Maria Luisa Santacruz (viola), Steven Taylor and Alexander Paul (violincello); Tod Leavitt (contrabass); Nicole Kessler and Julie Chau (flute); Julie Chau (piccolo); Chelsea Slagor (Oboe); Garry Morales Urbina (English horn); Jeffrey Olson and Mikey Arbulu (clarinet); Mikey Arbulu (bass clarinet); Jonathan Headen (bassoon); Kristen Johns and Paul Basler (horn); Eduardo Farias and Teal Ewer (trumpet); Doug Farwell and Zach Jones (trombone); Curtis Thornton (tuba); David Morris (timpani); Paul Campiglia, Christopher Chao, Nancy Davis, Kaitlyn Jones, and Dylan Sloan (percussion); Jamie Gossett (harp); Dariusz Ocetek and Eduardo Farias (crew)

Crew: Sayma Hossain and Kristin Hill (costumers); Valerie Holton (rehearsal pianist); Joe Muncy (technical director, lighting design); Ryan Ponsell (master electrician); Bryan Garris (sound engineer); Olivia Hood (stage manager); Michael Smith (assistant stage manager); Kathleen Kirk (libretto compiler); Sarah Alexander (College of the Arts Outreach director); Guy Frost (Facebook administrator); Valerie Holton (program design); Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity (ushers)