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Albert Herring

British opera comedy comes to UWEC’s Ganter Concert Hall

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by Andrew Christianson

The public sees most opera as depressing music sung in a different language. UW – Eau Claire’s production of Albert Herring easily shrugs that stereotype. Composed by British composer Benjamin Britten, with text written Eric Crozier after a short story by Guy de Maupassant, Herring is a British comedy exploring society’s reaction to an out-of-place individual. The best part? It’s sung in English. “What I really love about the opera is that it is a very, very funny comedy with a very British sense of humor,” said director Mitra Sadeghpour. “I also like that the central hero, Albert, is a shy, hen-pecked young man who still lives with his mother and in fact is bullied by her in front of other people-that’s not what we usually expect of an operatic hero. ... Albert is an outsider.” The opera is filled with genre-defying stances, which make it interesting for opera fans and non-fans alike. The story follows a town that can’t find a May Queen for it’s celebration, so instead bullies Albert into becoming the first-ever May King – an honor he would be happy without. The story follows small town life and the humor that comes from it, as well as Albert’s growth in standing up for himself. Among the full ensemble, senior Kevin Newell plays Albert, junior Elisabeth Cejpek plays Mrs. Herring, and junior Jonas Hacker plays Mayor Upfold. Albert Herring promises to be a unique show.

    Albert Herring • February 26-28 and March 5-7 • Gantner Concert Hall, UWEC Campus • 7:30pm, March 8 1:30pm • $12 adults, $10 seniors, $8 children, $3 students • 836-3727

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