The Pacific Index

Music professor presents original opera

Harrison Clifford

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The Music Department and Theatre Department will team up in a collaborative project to bring to life professor Tim Stephens’ first opera “Ransom! An Almost Comic Opera.”

The night will start with the performance of an art and song composition composed by Stephens and then, following a brief intermission, will conclude with Stephen’s very own “Ransom!”

“I wanted to do something fun for a change,” said Stephens. “I just wanted to do something different. I have been writing serious music for the longest time, so this was something completely different for me to do and something that the music and theatre department could put on and the kids could have fun with.”

The 40-minute opera is set in the 1940’s and follows a cast of six characters, two of whom are sisters who start the play and its events off after waking up tied up and bound in an abandoned warehouse.

The girls attempt to piece together their mysterious and confusing situation and soon learn that they had been drugged while at a bar by two men who intend to hold the girls for ransom money as the father of the two women is notably wealthy for selling new and used “parts”.

The events and action of the opera continue to unfold in a stylistic fashion leading up to the opera’s climactic finale.

Despite this reasonably dark plot, Stephens has no intention of taking his work too seriously.

“The opera is intended to be fun,” said Stephens “It is a bit of an opera noir… it’s dark. There’s not too much comedy in it, the comedy comes from the fact that the plot is so stupid… If you take any part of it seriously, you’re making a big mistake.”

The opera, which took Stephens over a year and half to write, compose and complete, includes a tango and has an overarching type of “slinky” jazz sound to it.

Music professor Anne Reed, who is the director and producer of “Ransom!” said she is glad to have worked on the collaborative project.

She is excited for opening night as it will showcase a type of opera that the music department has never before done.

Not only will the audience be able to see something new, it will also give the students performing in the opera real world experience they can take with them in their careers after Pacific.

Reed is also excited as she believes “Ransom!” will give theatre goers a chance to “experience music in a new way.”

“Ransom!” will be held from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in McCready Hall in the Taylor-Meade Auditorium April 22-23. Tickets are free for all Pacific students, faculty, staff and $7 for the general public.

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Music professor presents original opera