REVIEW: Opera Scenes & Arias @ CIM 4/15/11

REVIEW: Opera Scenes & Arias @ CIM

Although some of the young singers (who are really students at CIM) have performed in professional productions, they’re not yet completely ready to go out into the world as full-fledged opera stars of the future. While the program generally offers two completely costumed and staged operas per school year, still, not every student will be able to have a solo part. Thus, the addition of the “Opera Scenes & Arias” – a miscellany of short scenes featuring solos and small ensembles in a wide variety of operatic styles. On occasion, a one-act opera is included. This year, it seems, the opera du jour is Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial By Jury.

The entire evening was delightful. Directed by David Bamberger, with brilliant piano accompaniment provided by Music Director John Simmons, ten individual arias were demonstrated in the first half of the program. After intermission it was all Trial By Jury, all the time!

Each of the arias on the first half was introduced by a student, some of whom then also participated in a different aria as performer. As you might expect, some of the performers were more equal than others. Perhaps it’s the repertoire selected, or the style isn’t exactly right for the singer. However, there’s always next time!

Selections ranged from Mozart to Lehár and required the singers to sing in Czech, French, English, German and Italian. Most of these were double-cast for the three performances, as was Trial.

In 1875, when Trial By Jury was first produced, “breach of promise” lawsuits were rather standard, at least in England, and this one-act comedic farce takes aim at the premise. There is no spoken dialogue, but who needs it with such delightful solo and ensemble work?

Costumes by Alison Garrigan were bright, colorful and appropriate. Lighting was excellent throughout; unfortunately the designer/tech (and for the clever set for Trial) were not credited in the program.

For information about next year’s CIM Opera Program, or to order tickets, call 216.791.5000, ext. 411 or visit the website:


Photos by CIM/LDennison

From Cool Cleveland contributor Kelly Ferjutz, who writes: My most recently published book is Ardenwycke Unveiled (e-book and trade paper). Cerridwen has another contemporary romance from me, But Not For Love, currently available only as an e-book, but perhaps will be in print later this year. I hope to soon get around to completing some of the 30+ incomplete books in my computer!

Actually, I’ve just re-issued my very first published book (from Berkley in NY 1993) Secret Shores which is available now in print, plus print and as a Kindle.

By the way, Cerridwen has also accepted two of my short stories in their Scintillating Samples (complimentary reads) area: Song of the Swan and Unexpected Comfort. I love photography as well, as you can see here. Occasionally I teach writing workshops and sometimes do editing or ghostwriting on a free-lance basis. But over and above everything else, there’s always been the writing. I can’t imagine my life without it.

And now, after more than a few requests, I’ve started a blog about writing. You can find it here.

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