Soprano Kelly Cae Hogan joins Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as Adjunct Lecturer in Voice

headshot in black

Soprano Kelly Cae Hogan joins Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as Adjunct Lecturer in Voice. Hogan is a dramatic soprano who made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Gerhilde in Otto Schenk’s production of Die Walküre. She reprised her role in the premier of the Robert LePage production, which was shown in movie theaters throughout the world. Other performances at the Met include Janáček’s From the House of the Dead and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk,” by Shostakovich. This spring, she will sing Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen with Opera North in England and returns to Kassel, Germany, to sing the title role in Puccini’s Turandot.

Ms. Hogan earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and her Master’s from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She and her husband, composer Joel Weiss, live between their homes in Manhattan and Lexington, South Carolina.

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Chimes of Christmas combines tradition and innovation

By Brooke McAfee


Chimes of Christmas, an annual holiday concert put on by the Singing Hoosiers, has been a tradition at IU since the 1950s, Singing Hoosiers director Ly Wilder said.

The concert is at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the IU Auditorium.

Although it is tradition, Wilder said the show continues to change as they also try to appeal to people who look forward to the concert every year.

“We are excited to keep bringing that tradition back and continuing to innovate and evolve that tradition so that it speaks both to the most traditional holiday favorites and to the things that have a new spin on them, with some hip-hop and break-dancing,” Wilder said. “You get a little something for everyone.”

Wilder said this year’s concert includes a different setup on stage and more contemporary approaches to the music.

Members of the Singing Hoosiers rehearse for their Chimes of Christmas performance on Thursday evening at IU Auditorium.

Members of the Singing Hoosiers rehearse for their Chimes of Christmas performance on Thursday evening at IU Auditorium.

“The music every year is both familiar and different,” Wilder said. “We hope that, with the inclusion of some styles like world music, people are going to find that really refreshing and interesting.”

The Singing Hoosiers have been preparing for the concert since October and, although the process is challenging, the students have risen to the occasion, 
Wilder said.

Wilder said she wants the audience to leave feeling happier than they were when they came in, and she hopes the concert will inspire feelings of compassion and 

“We hope it will encourage all of those best instincts about this time of the year.”

Wilder said Syncopation, a show choir in Bloomington with students from fifth to ninth grade, is an integral part of Chimes of Christmas.

“They just bring such a beautiful spirit and kind of a childlike innocence to remind us of the joy of the season,” Wilder said.

Sophomore Kylie Bruetman, a member of the Singing Hoosiers, said preparing for Chimes of Christmas has been an incredible 

Wilder is putting her own spin on the show in her first year as director, including changing aspects that needed improvement and spending time creating a well-designed stage and program, Bruetman said.

Chimes of Christmas also features many guest artists from both the Jacobs School of Music and outside of the University.

Bruetman said one of the best parts of being in the Singing Hoosiers is sharing the stage with renowned 

For example, Jeff Nelsen, professor of horn in the music school and has performed around the world, and Nina Nelsen, an opera singer who has premiered operas throughout the United States, will be in the program. The two musicians are also 

“To have the privilege to be around that kind of talent and that kind of prestige … I don’t know where else I would get that, especially as a non-music major,” Bruetman said. “It’s insane that I get to share a stage with those people.”

Tickets range from $12 to $17 for children and IU-Bloomington students with ID and from $17 to $22 for the general public. Tickets are for sale at the IU Auditorium box office or online at

Bruetman said he has learned to adapt to different styles of music and flow quickly in and out of each style within one concert.

Wilder said the variety of styles appeals to Chimes of Christmas’ diverse 

“I think we are going to see people in our audiences from the age of 3 to 93, and I hope that each person in our audience finds something that they can relate to and enjoy,” Wilder said. “There are a wide variety of styles in the program, and I’m just really excited to share all of the incredible talent that is in our backyard with our 

© Indiana Daily Student 2015

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Mathilda Edge wins second place at Met Central Region Finals

Mathilda Edge.crop.smallerSoprano Mathilda Edge, student of Brian Horne, won second place at the Central Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions on Nov. 22 at the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston, Ill. She received a prize of $3,000.

Five students from the Jacobs School of Music won at the Indiana District Met Auditions in Indianapolis and advanced to the Regionals.

The National Semi-Finals will be held on March 6 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the Grand Finals Concert will take place on March 16 at the Met.

Edge earned her Master of Music degree from the Jacobs School of Music and is currently working toward her doctorate.



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Jacobs students sweep Indiana District Met National Council Auditions

Met Auditions 2015.croppedSeven students from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music took home prizes from the Indiana District competition of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions that took place at Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis Nov. 15.

Five sopranos were named winners from a field of 31 competitors, 23 of them from the Jacobs School. Advancing to the Central Region Finals on Sunday, Nov. 22, at the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston, Ill., are Monica Dewey, student of Carol Vaness; Martha Eason, student of Costanza Cuccaro; Mathilda Edge, student of Brian Horne; Marlen Nahhas, student of Carol Vaness; and Brooklyn Snow, student of Wolfgang Brendel.

The winners of that round will compete in the National Semi-Finals on March 6 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Grand Finals Concert will take place at the Met on March 16.

Encouragement awards went to Michael Day, who studies with Andreas Poulimenos, and John Punt, student of Timothy Noble.

Judges for this year’s competition were Vinson Cole, veteran tenor; Bruce Donnell, stage director at the Met and beyond; and Cori Ellison, dramaturg at Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

IU First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie served as honorary chair for the event. Soprano Sylvia McNair, Jacobs senior lecturer in voice, was faculty chair, and Sarah Slover, Jacobs marketing and publicity assistant, was the coordinator.

Rafael Porto, a Jacobs master’s student with Timothy Noble, competed in the Idaho/Montana District competition at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho, Nov. 7. He advances to the Northwest Region Finals at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Wash., Jan. 10.

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Musical afternoon will benefit local Interfaith Winter Shelter

The First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Bloomington Sanctuary Choir will once again join with the Chancel Choir of First Presbyterian Church to present a benefit concert for the Interfaith Winter Shelter, a low-barrier winter homeless shelter that offers overnight lodging to men and women from Nov. 1 to March 31.

The free concert be at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at First Christian Church Bloomington, 205 E. Kirkwood Ave.

A freewill offering will be taken to support the work of the shelter.

Courtesy photoMary Ann Hart is chair of the voice department at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Hart has won numerous song competitions, including the Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition, Concert Artists Guild and National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Artist awards; she also received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Courtesy photoMary Ann Hart is chair of the voice department at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Hart has won numerous song competitions, including the Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition, Concert Artists Guild and National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Artist awards; she also received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Bluegrass music and contemporary choral composition lovers will especially enjoy this year’s major piece, which combines a setting of the traditional Mass texts alternating with a beautiful poem by Marcia Chamberlain about the environment, the human condition and humanity’s place in the world.

The piece, Carol Barnett’s “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass,” was composed for the VocalEssence chorus and Monroe Crossing Bluegrass band and combines the styles of bluegrass music with contemporary choral composition.

The concert will be led by renowned conductors Jan Harrington, chancellor’s professor of conducting emeritus, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and director of First Christian Church’s choir; and Katy Strand, associate professor of music (music education) and chairwoman of music education, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and director of First Presbyterian Church’s choir.

Special guest Mary Ann Hart is chairwoman of the voice department at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Hart has won numerous song competitions; she also received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more about the IFWS, visit

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Production’s 2 casts honor this musical favorite

By Peter Jacobi


For decades, when the Jacobs School added two summer productions to its annual opera season, one spot was reserved for a musical. In recent years, with the disappearance of summer activity, musicals have invaded the fall-to-spring lineup.

The stated argument, and it is an appropriate one, goes this way: We have vocal students whose voices and dramatic talents are more likely to lead them professionally toward musicals than opera, and we must give them the needed exposure and experience. Rarely brought up, but surely a factor, is that inclusion of musicals is good for strained budgets. A number of musicals continue to prove themselves as popular choices; they attract ticket buyers.

Scott Stauffer, left, and Kayla Marie Eilers perform in a rehearsal for their roles in “South Pacific,” playing at the Indiana University Musical Arts Center.

Scott Stauffer, left, and Kayla Marie Eilers perform in a rehearsal for their roles in “South Pacific,” playing at the Indiana University Musical Arts Center.

“South Pacific” certainly is proving to be an attraction for many. Friday and Saturday audiences in the Musical Arts Center were healthily large. An extra Sunday matinee brought additional fans, and ticket sales for the concluding performances next Friday and Saturday have been strong. As for this Rodgers and Hammerstein favorite being invasive in a lineup of operas, well, it deserves to be, particularly when the product is as entertaining and well put together as is Indiana University’s Opera Theater’s current revival. Quality makes this “South Pacific” a welcome part of the season.

The musical has breeding. It is based on a collection of stories by James Michener, “Tales of the South Pacific,” that earned a Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. Later, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway show piece won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. So, the content, the story, is worthy as a reminder of another critical time in our history, the World War II years. And Richard Rodgers’ score, to which Oscar Hammerstein added such clever lyrics, remains a wonder, containing as it does a profusion of songs both pertinent for the story and delightful to listen to.

The production’s two casts, industrious and talented, honor the musical. So does the Walter Huff- trained chorus assigned to portray Seabees and nurses. So does the University Orchestra in the pit, sounding far better than a large percentage of professional theater orchestras. All matters musical have received careful attention from music director and conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos, a returning guest who on each visit seems to understand how to get the best out of young musicians.

To work with the singers, soloists and chorus, to have them become individuals in the story and integrated as an ensemble of players, the powers that be assigned Vincent Liotta who, since he joined the Jacobs faculty 20 years ago, has stage directed more than 50 productions here. He has always brought to his work not only knowledge of the theater and all musical extensions of it, not only an inherent skill at enhancing singers’ acting abilities, but an abiding enthusiasm and loving devotion to thus serve each work on that long list of operas, operettas and musicals.

Officially, “South Pacific” is the last of those assignments. He’s retiring. He’s retiring on a high note. As theater, the “South Pacific” on view is most effective; it is funny and poignant, romantic and a part realistic-part nostalgic return to the past. As one watches, one feels that the actors have come to inhabit their roles. Someone has led them to that level of involvement; it is Vince Liotta.

“South Pacific” tells two love stories. One — involving the nurse Nellie Forbush and French emigre planter Emile de Becque — ends happily, despite a problem of race brought on by the presence of his two children, birthed by a Polynesian woman. Two sopranos, Kayla Eilers on Friday and Jessamyn Anderson on Saturday, gave Nellie the vocal thrust and ebullient personality to belt “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair” and so much more.

Two fine, mellow-voiced baritones, Bruno Sandes and Johann Schram Reed, made the mature de Becque a sympathetic figure. The two were excellent choices and sang beautifully Emile’s romantic anthem, “Some Enchanted Evening.”

The other love affair, between Marine Lt. Joseph Cable (Rafael Campos Salles and James Reynolds) and the island girl Liat (Meadow Nguy and Marianthi Hatzis) does not end happily. Cable’s death, while on a military mission, destroys the liaison. Their scenes contain the passions of youth.

Eileen Jennings and Marlen Nahhas offer tours de force as Bloody Mary, an island native, Liat’s mother, and — as in the best productions — a scene stealer. Luther Billis, a Seabee cutup, obtains personality from baritones Scott Stauffer and Evan Forbes. As de Becque’s children, Nathaniel Cox-Thurmond and Marielle Berin steal hearts when they appear.

The new physical production by William Forrester features moving parts that comfortably and quickly make scenic changes possible. Pleasant to look at, they’ve been effectively lit by Patrick Mero. Linda Pisano has contributed the costume designs with, as usual, a keen eye for historical validity. A sound engineer, Julie Randolph Sloan, amplified music and talk adroitly, even though a few of the performers should have been told to speak louder.


© Herald Times 2015

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IU Opera takes on classic Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘South Pacific’

By Peter Jacobi


“Once launched, ‘South Pacific’ immediately joined that rare company of such musicals as ‘Oklahoma!,’ ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ which are not only successful stage productions but major social, theatrical, historical, cultural and musical events.” So wrote Richard Rodgers in his autobiography, “Musical Stages.”

“We even made it into something of a philanthropic occasion,” he continued, “by setting aside preferred locations at every performance for people who made sizable contributions to the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund.”

“Musical Stages” includes a fascinating narrative of how “South Pacific” came to be such a successful theatrical extension of James Mitchener’s collection of short stories, “Tales of the South Pacific;” how it came to have two intertwining and very different love stories; how it lured Ezio Pinza, the great operatic basso, into the cast as the middle-aged planter Emile de Becque, and how the Broadway star Mary Martin was wooed to become his love interest, Nellie Forbush.

“She was apprehensive,” Rodgers recalled. “She’d played opposite musical comedy juveniles and leading men but, my gosh, this was Don Giovanni himself? How could we possibly expect her to sing on the same stage as Ezio Pinza? Because there was some logic in what she said, I assured her that we’d write the score without a single duet for her. Mary promised to think it over.

Some months later, she sat down to listen to five songs Rodgers and his professional partner, lyricist Oscar Hammerstein, had written. Martin promised a call the next morning with a yes or no answer. “That evening at dinner the telephone rang” noted Rodgers. “It was Mary. She said that she couldn’t wait until the morning for fear that we might change our minds and give the part to someone else overnight.”

One suspects there were no such dramatic hesitancies among Indiana University voice students who auditioned and earned a part in the Opera Theater production set to open at the Musical Arts Center Friday evening.

“Everyone seems to be enjoying the experience,” says Vincent Liotta, the revival’s stage director. “They’re all much involved. The show has so much heart. One cannot help but be excited to do it. Rehearsals have been going quite well.”

To that, Constantine Kitsopoulos, the production’s music director and conductor, adds: “We’re all having a great time. The kids are doing beautifully, those on stage and those in the pit, the University Orchestra. Also, what a difference it makes to have extra strings to add to the sound, far more strings than we’d have on Broadway. Just listen when we play the overture.”

“It’s the best of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals,” insists Liotta. “They all have great music, but ‘South Pacific’ is more profound, dealing with serious issues and universal messages about war and racism, yet all within the framework of a musical.” Mitchener’s stories won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical won the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

“The tunes are unforgettable,” says conductor Kitsopoulos, “and Hammerstein’s lyrics are natural, not made up, as they seem in many musicals. He and Rodgers had an organic way into and out of the music. The dialog gives way to music smoothly. It becomes obvious that when things get so emotional, the script has to shift into music.


The performers will accomplish their acting and singing on a set designed by William Forrester and wearing costumes by Linda Pisano. Forrester explains that the set must facilitate “lots of different locations. The singers need to get from here to there. What we’ve done is to create scenery that can be moved by cast members, thereby minimizing halts in the performance. What you’ll see is a Pacific island, basically palm trees and the ocean, nothing to get in the way of the story and the music. The music and the content are why we do this musical. Vince and I had really long discussions on what ‘South Pacific’ is about. It’s not just a happy musical. It is wartime, and there are prejudices that come into play. There’s tension among people brought together by war. They face the task of accepting others who have different cultural backgrounds.”

Costumer Pisano says she did extensive visual research. “Even though this is a musical comedy, it’s one about war and fighting for a cause. The costumes needed to be correct and natural and, in a subtle way, individual, with identifying nuances. I had a great time going through countless photographs. Some I had at home. My father was stationed on a ship in the South Pacific. I even have one photo of my father on shore leave in his white uniform on the day he met my mother. All this strengthened my investment in this project. The candid photographs, so many with their smiling faces, were a lesson in history and sacrifice.”

“South Pacific” followed “Oklahoma!” and “Carousel,” two other Rodgers and Hammerstein triumphs. Its initial Broadway run started in 1949 and lasted five years, just short of 2,000 performances. Other productions and touring companies came along to spread the pleasures to waiting audiences in many cities, including those overseas. The music helped shape a universal appeal: “A Cockeyed Optimist,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “There Is Nothing Like a Dame,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy,” “Happy Talk,” “Carefully Taught,” “This Nearly Was Mine,” “Younger than Springtime” and “Bali Ha’i.”

I asked each of the above what he or she would like us in the theater to leave with at final curtain fall. Here’s what they said.

Linda Pisano: “I hope the audience will have enjoyed the show and come to understand the important issues of a not-so-distant history.”

William Forrester: “I want them to remember or, if younger, to learn what it was like in the war and how we must overcome our prejudices”

Vincent Liotta: “I hope you’ll take seriously what Hammerstein wanted to tell us, that it’s time to grow up and take to heart what he and Rodgers and Mitchener pointed out 60 years ago about acceptance of those different from you. I want you also to have enjoyed the performance.”

Constantine Kitsopoulos: “I would hope folks walk out of the theater thinking about prejudice and, if necessary, start personal struggles to overcome such feelings. I’d like them also to remember what these Jacobs School students have accomplished as performers. They’ve done a great job.”

Come and see if “South Pacific” affects you.

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‘South Pacific’ opens Friday

By Audrey Perkins


“South Pacific,” the top Tony Award-winning Broadway revival, is IU Opera and Ballet Theater’s newest production.

The World War II-themed musical opens at 8 p.m. Friday at the Musical Arts Center.

The show focuses on the experiences of soldiers stationed on an island in the South Pacific. The story dives deeper into America’s history as the characters meet the island’s Polynesian inhabitants and struggle with conforming to racist societal norms.

The show is double-casted, meaning there are two actors for every part.

Jessamyn Anderson plays Nellie Forbush, a cheerful, naïve U.S. Navy nurse who is stationed on the island.

Casts act in the dress rehearsal of "South Pacific" in the Musical Arts Center on Thursday night. "South Pacific" opens Friday.

Casts act in the dress rehearsal of “South Pacific” in the Musical Arts Center on Thursday night. “South Pacific” opens Friday.

She meets and falls in love with Emile de Becque, a French plantation owner. However, she struggles to accept the idea that he has mixed-race children. Anderson said the biggest aspect of her character she had to conquer was the difference in their upbringing.

“We’ve grown up in a place where racism is wrong,” Anderson said.

This wasn’t the case for her character, Forbush.

“South Pacific” was written in the late 1940s, right after World War II ended. In those days, racism had a more common place in American culture. While racism still exists today, Anderson said it didn’t have such an obvious and public role as it did when the musical was first released.

“One of the hardest things is trying to figure out where she’s coming from,” she said.

This show is special because the antagonist is not a single person, she said, it’s a notion. It’s racism as a whole.

“‘South Pacific’ was one of the first musicals to deal with serious subject matter,” Vince Liotta, stage director for “South Pacific,” said.

Bruno Sandes plays Emile de Becque, Anderson’s middle-aged love interest. Jóhann Schram Reed also plays Becque in two of the production’s shows.

One of his favorite parts about the show is that the plot was created organically. The drama is not something writers Rodgers and Hammerstein made up. Instead, they picked up on taboo cultural problems, he said.

“They talk about something everybody avoids talking about,” he said. They weren’t scared of

Part of the musical’s success comes from the fact that it communicates a message without making it feel insignificant or boring. How does it do this? Through song.

Music is more effective at communication than speaking, Sandes said. It’s because the melody pulls people.

The music keeps spinning in your mind, he said, and in turn strengthens the musical’s anti-
racist message.

“They (Rodgers and Hammerstein) expose all of the ugliness,” he said. “It’s really powerful.”

Like Sandes, Anderson said music influences emotion. It’s more powerful than the spoken word. Without the music, the dialogue is naked, she said.

Anderson described how racism is musically depicted to solidify her point. In the beginning of the show, the racist undertones are more subtle. There is not as much music underscoring the dialogue. However as the plot thickens and race becomes a bigger factor, the music builds in the 

“It’s easier to hear when it’s trapped in something beautiful,” she said of “South Pacific’s” social criticism. “You get truth that’s hidden in this beautiful art form.”

Sandes said this show acts like a mirror. It’s a show that makes people think, 
he said.

“I think we see ourselves in this show,” he said. “The problems that they were facing at that time was not so different from today.”

People still don’t know how to deal with the difference, Sandes said. Even 
after 50 years.

Sandes said he wants people to open their hearts when they watch his performance. “South Pacific” has the capability to use music and comedy to push people forward, to keep growing.

“We are all human beings,” he said. “We are still learning.”


© Indiana Daily Student

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In Performance | Ailyn Pérez

BY Erik Piepenburg and Erik Braund | Feb. 9, 2015 | 3:20

Soprano Ailyn Pérez sings an excerpt from Micaëla’s aria in Bizet’s “Carmen,” which runs through March 7 at the Metropolitan Opera.

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IU Opera’s new show opens Friday after months of preparation

By Audrey Perkins

The line between reality and artificiality will be unveiled in the Jacobs School of Music’s newest opera, “Alcina.”

The show opens 8 p.m. Friday at the Musical Arts Center and will be performed in Italian with English subtitles over the stage. For those unable to attend, the opera will also be streamed live through 

Alcina, played by Elizabeth Toy, and Ruggiero, played by Michael Linert, perform during the dress rehearsal of Alcina.

Alcina, played by Elizabeth Toy, and Ruggiero, played by Michael Linert, perform during the dress rehearsal of Alcina.

Elizabeth Toy is one of two doctoral students who plays the role of Alcina. She portrays a sorceress who controls a magical island and charms her way through multiple lovers.

“There’s many different ways to think about it,” Toy said about her character. Rather than having physical, almost Disney-level magic, Alcina’s power manifests itself in her charisma and manipulation.

It’s her persona. Alcina is a person who can pull you in, she said. However, when she falls in love with deceptively antagonistic Ruggiero, according to the two actresses who play the role, Alcina’s facade falls apart.

Despite her outward strength displayed in the beginning of the opera, Alcina is a fragile, relatable character.

“She just wants everyone to love her,” Toy said.

Morgana, played by Monica Dewey, and Bradamonte, played by Rachel K. Evans, perform during the dress rehearsal of Alcina.

Morgana, played by Monica Dewey, and Bradamonte, played by Rachel K. Evans, perform during the dress rehearsal of Alcina.

To aid this manipulation, she creates an island that she and her sister Morgana rule. Everything is lavish and red. The atmosphere of this world speaks to her power over people, Toy said.

“Alcina has created a world to live in,” Toy said. “It’s passionate, yet dangerous. … It evokes reactions out of the audience.”

There is disconnect among how the actors are costumed. Some people will be dressed in modern clothing. However, when characters cross the boundary between the real world and the world Alcina created, costumes change. Everything is designed to aesthetically fall into history.

All actors are dressed in historical costume. Think Marie Antoinette, Toy said. Actresses wear foot-tall wigs, corsets and men are in tights. Yet, everything is all bewitched.

Shannon Love, also plays Alcina, said this production is designed to juxtapose the artificiality of Alcina’s world with the farce commonly associated with the 

Oronte, played by Issa Ransom, performs during the dress rehearsal of Alcina.

Oronte, played by Issa Ransom, performs during the dress rehearsal of Alcina.

Love made this comparison. When an audience regards a stage set, they know that it is all artificial.

“You accept it for this false reality,” she said.

This is the same case for Alcina and her world represented on stage.

“This is the only way she knows how to get what she wants,” Love said of Alcina’s magic. “She’s insecure with what she is on the 
other side.”

Most of the props on stage are two-dimensional. While painted to appear beautiful, Love said the backs of all props are left bare. The entire scene is set upon a rotating set. As Alcina’s character falls apart, Love said, her character loses the ability to maintain the artificial beauty of 
the stage.

Finally, as her façade diminishes into nothing, the stage turns to reveal that Alcina’s world is in fact made up of wooden cutouts.

Love described the moment as “lifting the veil.”

“It’s just all visually enticing, but it’s all empty,” she said. “There’s no real depth. … There’s nothing of meaning.”

She described Alcina’s love as her “demise.” Until Ruggiero comes into the scene, Alcina remains relatively detached to her love interests. In fact, when she is done with them she usually used her magic to turn them into animals. However, in this case, Ruggiero has an effect on her, Love said.

Michael Linert plays the romantic lead. His character leaves Bradamante, his fiancé, after being enchanted by Alcina. However, by the end of the show, he shakes off Alcina’s spell and tries to flee the island with Bradamante.

Linert said that despite his character’s heroic tendencies, Ruggiero can be seen in a bad light. The audience feels for Alcina, 
he said.

Love described Linert’s character as the most “villainous.” It is he that left his own fiancé to be with Alcina, however when her magic deteriorates, he no longer wants her, Love said. Ruggiero almost ventures into being vengeful, she said.

Despite this character aspect, Love said she 
believes the audience will be rooting for Ruggiero and Bradamante. People have a tendency to root for “true love.” However, she also said she hopes that the audience is able to see through Ruggiero’s façade of heroism.

Love said she believes heroes come across too perfect. Heroes are not 
realistic, she said.

“Bad guys are more relatable than good guys,” she said. “Villains are easier to make human.”

Even though Alcina’s weaknesses and insecurities are unveiled to the audience, she is still strong, Love said. This strength is Love’s favorite part about her character.

“She is a fighter,” 
she said.

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