Marshall faculty, guest artists to perform classic opera

A classic opera will be brought to the stage by several Marshall staff members Oct. 11 at Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church in Huntington.

“We have an amazing cast,” said Carline Waugh, a professor in the Marshall University School of Music and performer in the upcoming presentation of the opera “La Tragédie de Carmen. 

“We basically have an international world-class cast right here in town,” Waugh said.  

In addition to Waugh, the performance will feature Alexander Lee, another Marshall School of Music staff member, guest artists Young-Kwang Yoo and Leah Heater and accompaniment from Sara Lee, Maira Urbano and Steven Schumann. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be free and open to the public.

Waugh said performing with many other artists allows for a much different performing experience. 

“In this setting, it’s a lot of fun because you get to interact, you get to have a conversation, you get to go back in forth in terms of what the music is saying, what the characters are saying,” Waugh said. “It’s like a real dialogue.”

Waugh said the performance will be a different take on George Bizet’s “La Tragédie de Carmen.”

“Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ is just one of the greatest operas in the history of operas, and this version of ‘Carmen’ is only a little bit over an hour. It takes all the main parts that are popular, it takes of all of that, and just condenses it,” Waugh said. “It’s like a bite-size (version) of the actual show.”

This performance will also be taking on a different venue than on-campus events, as it is being held at Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church located at 513 10th St. in Huntington.

 “The music department has this wonderful relationship with Johnson Memorial where it gives us a chance to bring music directly to the community,” Waugh said. “The music department has lots of performances on campus, but this is really our chance to do some outreach into the community.”

Waugh said she would encourage students and community members to view the performance because of both the cast and the opera itself, which she said includes “the beautiful legato of the French language” and “this Spanish fire and flare that goes with it.” 

“I think it’s a must see for everyone in this area because, like I said before, we have world-class singers right here in your backyard,” Waugh said. “The music speaks for itself. It has lived for a lifetime. It is an opera that has stood the test of time.” 

Summer Jewell can be contacted at [email protected]