Student's Last Theater Performance Ends With Standing Ovation

The ENMU Department of Music did a two night performance of A Night at the Opera on Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3. The production staff included Dr. Travis Sherwood, Dr. Gregory Gallagher, Dr. Stephanie Beinlich, and Kiley Garrett, with a total of 27 student production cast. Staging production took roughly two and half weeks as students spent their evening performing scenes from famous operas and musicals.

With the entire cast participating in the first, the production opened with a performance of “Sunday” from Sunday in the Park with George by Leonard Bernstein. The first half consisted of six musical/opera scenes, with half of these scenes being taken from operas composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One comical scene, “Zu Hilfe! Zu Hilfe!” from Mozart’s Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute), starred Austin Phillips as Tamino, a prince who is lost in the woods. Three women, portrayed by Jasmine Sahd, Tymia Peterson, and Angela Rudd, stumbled upon the prince’s unconscious body and begin to fight over him after discovering that he is extremely handsome. Though the song was in German, the audience was still able to understand the context of the scene as eight of the eleven scenes were accompanied by subtitles. The last number before intermission, Act II Bodega Scene from La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini, was set in a Starbucks and featured the entire cast. It was an extremely busy and animated end to the first half of the show.

A pivotal scene for the production was the Principessa Scene and “Senza Mamma” from Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini during the second act. Amanda Rindlisbach delivered a powerful and emotional performance as Angelica, a woman in a convent who learns that her illegitimate son is now dead. When asked how she prepared for the scene, Rindlisbach answered, “Well, I had to do a lot of soul searching. I don't have kids so I couldn't possibly know what it is like to lose a child, so I used the emotions of losing my grandparents and fused them with the feelings and reactions of Sour Angelica.” She shared that during one of the rehearsals, she got so into character that she had to walk out when the scene was done. It was the longest scene of the entire production, and it was evident to the audience that Rindlisbach put her heart and soul into her portrayal of Angelica. This was Rindlisbach’s last performance at ENMU and despite the difficulty that went into staging the production, she said, “The end result was so satisfying and I am so thankful that my last performance at ENMU was so successful.”

The show closed out with “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide by Leonard Bernstein. The entire cast took the stage for the final performance, and were rewarded with a standing ovation from the crowd at the end. This was Rindlisbach’s favorite scene to perform, and she commented, “I was holding back tears the entire time and there is something so strong about just standing there and looking out into the audience and seeing their faces light up.”

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