WUSTL Opera Workshop April 30 and May 2

The cover of the first installment to Charles Dickens’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood, published in 1870. More than a century later, Dickens’ unfinished novel would inspire a Tony Award-winning musical, excerpts from which will be performed Tuesday and Thursday, April 30 and May 2.
The “Pina Colada Song” guy wrote a musical?

Yes, he did, and a good one, too. In 1986, The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Rupert Holmes — perhaps known for chart-topping story-songs like “Escape” and “Him” — was nominated for 11 Tony Awards. It won five, including the “triple crown” of best musical, best book and best score.

Next week, the Washington University Opera Workshop will present excerpts from Drood and five other works as part of Spring Scene Studies, its semester-end performance.

The event is free and open to the public and will take place at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, April 30 and May 2, in the Ballroom Theater of the 560 Music Center.

The performance, which is presented in the round, will begin with excerpts from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni (1787) and Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel (1893). The latter will feature additional singers from the WUSTL Chamber Chorus.

Next will be scenes from Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello (1887) and two songs from The Fantasticks (1960) by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones.

Concluding the program will be excerpts from Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave (1970) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which Holmes adapted from Charles Dickens’ final, uncompleted novel of the same title.

Musical direction is by senior lecturer Christine Armistead, with stage direction by lecturer Tim Ocel. Pianist will be Sandra Geary, teacher of applied music.

The performance is sponsored by the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences. The 560 Music Center is located in University City at 560 Trinity Ave.

For more information, call (314) 935-5566 or email daniels@wustl.edu.

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