Four HP Students Participate in MSU Opera
Photos courtesy of The Murray State News
Orpheus in the Underworld, the first fully staged opera at Murray State in six years, premiered last week in the Robert E. Johnson Theatre with four Honors Program students gracing the stage.
Freshmen Lane Northcutt and Cole Taul, along with juniors Grace Lauzon and Madeline Hart, played mythological gods and goddesses in Jacques Offenbach’s comedic retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Lauzon, a junior vocal performance major from Owensboro, Ky., played Venus, goddess of love, while Hart, a junior music business major from Lexington, Ky., played Diana, the goddess of the hunt.
In the original tradition of Orpheus, the title character is a music professor who loses his wife to a venomous snake bite and must plunge into Hades to reclaim her. However, after promising to keep his eyes forward in the return journey, he looks back and loses her forever.
The tangled web from the original myth certainly plays a role in the plot of the retelling. Hart said, however, Offenbach’s parody of the myth has a few changes. “It definitely has a twist ending, kind of an M. Night Shyamalan ending, at that,” she said.
Because the operetta has many unexpected twists and turns, not to mention its famous cancan dance scene, Lauzon said this production had plenty to offer to all types of audience members. “People always make fun of opera, but this show makes fun of itself,” she said. “Opera is not just for the upper crust of society.” This opera was particularly accessible to the most casual of opera fans because it was not only comedic but also performed in English, Lauzon said.
The next musical/theatrical production on Murray State’s campus will be the 75th Annual Campus Lights production of Titanic: A New Musical in January 2012.