MACON – The Mercer University Opera will present "Pirates of Penzance" for young audiences April 17-18 in Fickling Hall on Mercer's Macon campus. The one-hour performances are being held at 6 p.m. in order to accommodate families' evening schedules. The shows are free and open to the public. School-aged children, ages 5-12, are encouraged to attend.
"This is a fun, high-spirited show full of catchy tunes and comedy. If you've never seen a Gilbert and Sullivan piece, this is a perfect introduction to their British brand of humor and the incredibly wacky story set to deliciously lovely and hummable music," said director Martha Malone, professor of music and chair of vocal studies at Mercer. "Pirates is probably their most popular show, and for good reason. Our cast of singers are also terrific actors and dancers, and people of all ages will get a kick out of their hijinks!"
Mercer University Opera has a 20-year tradition of presenting opera for young audiences in Middle Georgia. Past children's opera productions tailored to their age levels and interests have included A Muskrat Lullaby, The Toy Shop, Hansel and Gretel and many more.
"This version of The Pirates of Penzance is specifically geared to school-aged children; we have cut it from two acts to one act lasting just under an hour. Everyone in the family will love it – we've staged it so that our cast is both entertaining and interacting with our audiences. The show concludes with a short question-and-answer session with the cast on stage, so audience members can talk with the performers," said Malone.
Malone suggests listening to the songs from Pirates online before coming to the show. She says the songs are so catchy, families will be able to hum the tunes after one time through. "If youngsters encounter an art form early, in a way that is designed to engage them on their level, it is possible to get them turned on to something new that can enrich their lives and develop their minds in profound ways," she said.
For more information, call the Townsend School of Music at (478) 301-2748.
About Townsend School of Music
Mercer University's Townsend School of Music, the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, the Joan Stockstill Godsey Center for Keyboard Studies and the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies offer undergraduate and graduate professional music studies in a comprehensive university environment. Townsend is nationally recognized for its outstanding faculty, award-winning students, performance ensembles and state-of-the-art facilities. The McDuffie Center, a special institute within Townsend School of Music, is a highly selective program that prepares string students for success in the real world. Students study with some of America's most renowned string musicians, receiving music instruction of conservatory quality, while earning an academically well-rounded education from a comprehensive, nationally recognized university. For more information and a complete listing of this season's concerts please visit www.mercer.edu/music, or call (478) 301-2748.