Friday, March 13, 2009

Clayton State Opera Presents… “Noye’s Fludde”

“This is participatory drama!”

So says Dr. Kurt-Alexander Zeller, Clayton State University’s director of Opera and Vocal Studies. This year’s Clayton State Opera performance is “Noye’s Fludde,” a late 16th century mystery play from the Chester Mystery Cycle that was set to music by Benjamin Britten in 1957.

Taking part in the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark, in addition to eight Clayton State undergraduate students, will be 45 students from Jonesboro’s J.W. Arnold Elementary School, Clayton State Music Preparatory student Brad Raymond (Newnan), who plays Noye (aka Noah), and the audience who will be present in Clayton State’s world-famous Spivey Hall on Friday, Mar. 27 and Saturday, Mar. 28. Both performances will start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission (available from the Spivey Hall Box Office). Clayton State students, faculty and staff are admitted free with their Laker ID.

“Warm up before you come — the audience gets to sing along three times,” suggests Director Zeller.

In addition to the audience taking part, Zeller is very enthusiastic about the Soaring Eagle Singers from Arnold Elementary, who are conducted by Joanne Maples, and who play the animals in the opera. It’s an opportunity that Zeller says will benefit both the younger and older singers.

“Bringing elementary school children here and having them work collaboratively with Clayton State students gives them the idea about going to college. It’s a chance for them to say, `I could be a college student,’” he says. “Part of our job is opening people’s eyes that there’s more out there. And that’s true for students on all levels, from elementary school to Clayton State students.”

In addition to Raymond, the following students will be taking part in “Noye’s Fludde…”

Mrs. Noye: Lianna Wimberly (Jonesboro, junior B.M. in Voice Performance major)
Sem: José Caballero (McDonough, sophomore B.M. in Voice Performance major)
Ham: Afolabi Giwa (Fairburn, junior B.A. in Music major)
Jaffet: Stephen Odom (Stockbridge, junior B.A. in Music major)
Mrs. Sem: Lindsey Martin (Lilburn, junior B.M. in Voice Performance major)
Mrs. Ham: Amanda Pillatzki (Hampton, high-school Department of Music Preparatory Department student)
Mrs. Jaffet: Melissa Reece (Stockbridge, sophomore B.M. in Music Education major)
God Clayton Beatty (Jonesboro, B.A. in Theater major)

The orchestra for the performance also includes Clayton State adjunct Music professor Daniel Pyle, “shaking the walls with the organ,” says Zeller.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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