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Opera AACC Stages 'The Elixir of Love'

Jan. 05, 2007

Opera AACC gives the storyline of Gaetano Donizetti’s foot-stomping comic opera, "The Elixir of Love," an American twist in its five performances Jan. 26 to Feb. 3 at Anne Arundel Community College.

Performances, sung in English, are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 26-27 and Feb. 2-3, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, all at the Pascal Center for Performing Arts on the AACC Arnold campus, 101 College Parkway.

This new translation of "The Elixir of Love" features a young southern belle from Tennessee who is being courted by two suitors, a local country farmer and a handsome Yankee officer. A moonshiner, posing as a flamboyant traveling doctor, arrives in town with his magic potions, setting up scenes for even more hilarity.

Donizetti is one of the composers whose works use bel canto singing, in which singers focus on achieving a level singing technique over volume. His beautiful melodies and rousing choruses sound especially vibrant in this Opera AACC rendition, produced by AACC Coordinator of Music Douglas B. Byerly of Towson and staged by James Harp of Baltimore, Baltimore Opera’s artistic administrator and chorus master.

AACC faculty members Mary Anne Barcellona of Arnold and Joy Greene of Annapolis alternate as Adna Mae, the southern belle. Barcellona made her claim to fame singing Carlotta in Hal Prince’s Toronto production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "The Phantom of the Opera." Greene was most recently seen in the Young Victorian Theatre’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s "The Sorcerer." Also featured in the cast are bass-baritone Brendan Cooke of Baltimore, AACC faculty and baritone Frederic Rey of Baltimore and tenors Daniel Holmes of Alexandria, Va., and John Artz of Baltimore.

Two AACC students will alternate in the role of Jasminetta, Tania Rosa Bindhoff of Bowie and Ashley Bibby of Annapolis. T. Matthew Edwards, D.M.A., of Ellicott City, an assistant professor of music at AACC, makes his debut with Opera AACC as conductor.

The set, designed by local architect Leonard Gilbert of Baldwin and built by Peter Kaiser of Annapolis, includes a vintage 1929 Ford Model A Business Coupe on loan from local collector Dick Fisher of Hanover. The backdrop is a custom design scenic drop from Charles H. Stewart of Boston. Gilbert’s design is based on a 1920s Tennessee country home and garden.

Tickets are $15 for general admission; $12 for seniors, groups, students and AACC employees; $10 for AACC students. For information or tickets, call the Pascal Center for Performing Arts Box Office at 410-777-2457 or visit the Web site, Let the box office know if someone in your group needs special accommodations.