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Opera at USC presents the Lanny and Sidney Palmer One-Act Opera Series

Speed Dating Tonight! a comic opera about the trials and tribulations of finding love in a world that moves too fast

Speed Dating Tonight!, a comic opera, explores the culture of the modern dating world and reveals humanity in all its awkwardness in the search for a suitable match. The free production takes place at the USC School of Music Recital Hall (813 Assembly St) on Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 10 at 3:00 p.m.

Meet daters Steampunk Girl, Lives at Home, Feeling Awkward, Talkative Girl, Love me, love my Cats!, Combat Photographer, and Panic Attack, among others who introduce themselves to you through arias and duets. The daters in Speed Dating Tonight! express their hopes and fears about the dating game in a way that is contemporary, relevant and amusing; some are moving, some are funny; some are caricatures, some are sincere.

Speed Dating Tonight! by Michael Ching, composer, conductor and arts administrator, was developed expressly for college ensembles. Ellen Douglas Schlaefer, director of opera studies at the University of South Carolina, directs this production. Ching’s flexible production allows directors to have almost complete discretion to choose the order, key, and in many cases the gender of the daters, ensuring that no two productions are the same.

Since the premiere in 2013 there have been 24 different productions of Speed Dating Tonight! largely on university campuses, and it is currently Ching’s most popular opera. His goal is to have Speed Dating Tonight! produced in all 50 states.

Speed Dating Tonight! music and words by Michael Ching based on a concept by Dean Anthony.

About Opera at USC

Students gain practical stage experience by participating in the operas onstage and off. The program offers a comprehensive degree program for both graduate and undergraduates, covering every facet of opera production, both on stage and behind the scenes. Singers, directors, pianists, conductors, marketing and public relations students and theatrical technicians get expert teaching and intensive hands-on experience in their respective crafts. 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.

Opera at USC presents two fully staged operas with orchestra each year and also presents a production of one-act operas, now named the Lanny and Sidney Palmer One-Act Opera Series. Learn more about Opera at USC.

About Lanny and Sidney Palmer One-Act Opera Series

Lanny and Sidney Palmer have been well-known mainstays of the cultural life of South Carolina for the past half-century. Lanny Palmer, noted soprano and former Professor of Music at Columbia College, had a great impact on the musical life of the Columbia area. Sidney Palmer is one of Columbia’s most enduring creative talents and musical superstars. He has had a tremendous impact throughout the country as a musician, composer, and conductor, and did groundbreaking work in the early days of television for more than 20 years. He has been recognized for his many accomplishments and contributions with multiple awards. Mary Benson Keenan, their daughter, has been instrumental in working with her family to establish the Lanny and Sidney Palmer One-Act Opera Series in support of Opera at USC. The USC School of Music is forever grateful for their numerous contributions to the musical life of our community and beyond.

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