SHSU Opera to debut ‘Elixir of Love’

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The Sam Houston State University Opera is to premiere Elixir of Love February 5-6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

Assistant Professor and Director of the Opera Workshop Rebecca Grimes, Ph.D., is the director for Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti.

Elixir of Love is a romantic comedy set to music and Grimes along with her students have worked hard to make the show enjoyable for everyone who attends.

“Elixir of Love is a romantic comedy,” Grimes said. “In this new spin on an old favorite, a hapless janitor named Nemorino spends his last dollar on magic potion guaranteed to help him win the heart of any girl, and he sets his sights on Adina a beautiful co-ed whom he has loved from afar. But things as they tend to do, go awry, through misunderstandings and mishaps they both eventually learn the power of true love.”

The choice to do this opera for Grimes was a relatively simple because of her older students and the variety in their voices.

“Well it’s a lot of fun, it’s funny and also, I happened to have the students with the right mix of voices for the performance,” Grimes said. “The students that sing the big roles in my program are typically juniors and seniors, although I do have a couple sophomores that are singing lead roles in this one.”

Operatic voices don’t typically hit their strides until they are in their late twenties; this was a chance for Grimes to showcase some of what the opera workshop has aimed towards.

Grimes planned the opera around the enthusiasm of her students.

“Another thing that went into planning and directing the show is the enthusiasm of my students, they loved the show and were excited to be able to do it,” Grimes said. “They made it fun.”

Opera is a versatile form of music and can portray different genres.

“It’s like the movies ,” Grimes said. “There are sad movies and funny movies and opera has both. People are more surprised when an opera turns out to be funny.”

Grimes said she likes to produce comedy operas because they are lighter on the voices and not as harsh; they are better for the young voices at Sam Houston.

The opera students make the director position enjoyable for Grimes because of their drive and passion for the art.

“[My] favorite part of directing at Sam Houston for not only this show, but past ones as well, has to be my students because they work hard and have a lot of integrity,Grimes said.

Tickets can be purchased at shsu.universitytickets.com