By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Described as a “fairytale in four acts,” Oklahoma City University will present Jules Massenet’s “Cendrillon,” as its first opera of 2019 from February 22 through 24. The French romantic comedy will include a cast of 33 singers and a 46-member orchestra.
Presented in English, “Cendrillon” will take place at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music, on OCU’s historic Kirkpatrick stage. Performances are scheduled at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday at 3 p.m.
“The OCU production was influenced by the world of high fashion, which often mixes silhouettes from many periods in history,” said Karen Coe Miller, professor of music and assistant professor of opera and music theatre. “The ethereal beauty of the Fairy Godmother’s realm is contrasted by the outrageous appearance of Cinderella’s stepsisters and the courtiers. We take ‘once upon a time’ literally and give the fairytale both old and contemporary twists.”
OCU’s 120th anniversary performance will feature innovative lighting and sets, as well as custom-made costumes, which will produce a vibrant cast of characters amidst a royal palace and an enchanted forest.
Matthew Mailman will conduct the Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company Orchestra. The production features scenic design by professor Jason Foreman and prop design by professor Lawrence Heyman. Lighting design is by Marina Oakley and original costumes are by Celia Kasberg, seniors in the School of Theatre’s design and production program.
Led by Dr. David Herendeen since 1997, OCU’s Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company is the nation’s longest-running collegiate-based opera and music theater company. The school has won seven National Opera Association awards in the past six years and was named to Playbill’s 2018-19 list of top 10 collegiate training grounds for Broadway performers.
Led by Dr. David Herendeen, director of OCU’s opera and music theater since 1997, won awards for three different productions in a single season—the first time one director has done so.
The ensemble’s 67th season will continue March 1 to 3 with Pietro Mascagni’s operatic comedy “L’Amico Fritz.” The season will close with the Tony Award-winning romantic musical comedy, “Crazy for You,” April 12 – 14, inspired by George and Ira Gershwin’s 1930 classic “Girl Crazy.”