by Mike Telin and Daniel Hathaway
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing an opera that will fit the voices of undergraduate singers. Oberlin Opera Theater director Jonathon Field had both practical and philosophical considerations in mind when he decided to produce Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, which opens for a four-performance run in Hall Auditorium on the Oberlin College campus on Wednesday, November 11.
“If you look at the makeup of any college vocal studies program, most likely 80% of the students are female,” Field said in a telephone conversation. “Lucretia offers a lot of roles and opportunities for female singers. And singing Britten always makes students better performers. I think it’s the way that the words fit the musical lines so completely. It’s quasi-melodic, yet the singers have to get the pitches absolutely right for it to make emotional sense. The music is rhythmically complex, but not impossibly dense. And like a lot of his operas, Lucretia is lightly scored, so that’s perfect for young voices.” [Read more…]