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Opera at USC presents two comedic one-act operas April 15 and 16

The FREE performance includes Bon Appétit! with Janet Hopkins and Mozart’s The Impresario

The Lanny and Sidney Palmer One Act Series presents a delightful weekend of comedic operas at the USC School of Music Recital Hall (813 Assembly St). The free performance, a double feature, takes place on Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 and Sunday, April 16 at 3:00 p.m.

Opera at USC, directed by Ellen Douglas Schlaefer, presents two fully staged operas with orchestra each year and presents an evening of One Act Operas each spring.

Bon Appétit! by Lee Hoiby, featuring mezzo-soprano Janet Hopkins, is a comic culinary extravaganza that taps the wit and antics of one of America’s best-loved television personalities, the (almost) inimitable Julia Child. Hopkins, professor of voice at the University of South Carolina, is a 16-year veteran of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and has thrilled audiences on stages across America. She has been called “angel voiced” by The Washington Post and “a vintage diva” by The New York Times. Billed as a musical monologue, Hopkins, as Julia Child, creates an episode of the popular cooking show with text by Julia Child adapted by Mark Shulgasser.

Mr. Scruples, an over-worked, overwrought impresario has given up on his theater and his vision in Mozart’s The Impresario. Mr. Bluff, his assistant, is desperately trying to keep Scruples and his theater afloat. Through Bluff’s gregarious sweet-talk, he convinces the impresario to audition some highly sought-after, presumptuous sopranos. Hilarity ensues as the two sopranos try to outdo each other in high notes, a tenor intervenes by way of a trio, and in the end a quartet sings “Every artist strives for glory.”

The cast of The Impresario are USC students Davis Dykes, Impresario; Ely Graham, The Assistant; Amos Warren, Mr. Angel; Alicia Renney, Madame Goldentrill; and Esther Kim Ruder, Miss Silverpeal. The pianist is Hyun-Jung Im.

Opera at USC is one of only a handful of colleges and universities nationwide that offers special training and practice for aspiring opera stage directors. Students gain practical stage experience by participating in the operas onstage and off. Opera at USC offers a comprehensive program for both graduate and undergraduate students, covering every facet of opera production, both on stage and behind the scenes.