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Great Arts at Eastern this week talks with Greg Gallagher, Maya Muñoz, and Jasmine Sahd about the up

This week on Great Arts at Eastern, Jeff Gentry talks with Greg Gallagher, Maya Muñoz, and Jasmine Sahd about the upcoming Double Bill of One-Act Operas.

Greg Gallagher's February began with a faculty tenor recital and ends with him co-directing two operas this month. Greg talks about what he does with all his free time. "That is my free time." Greg continues on to say as he is also on piano for these productions. "So as part of being directing, I helped with the rehearsals and gave musical notes to all of the students, and then I accompany them through the operas."

What's your pision of labor with fellow voice faculty Travis Sherwood and Stephanie. "Travis does the directing of the staging, and Stephanie is heavily involved in diction coaching for the foreign language of the French. And set design and costume design. Helping wherever she can."

Why should people see Dido and Aeneas and Le Docteur Miracle? "I think it is a really great way to introduce people to operas because they are two very contrasting operas. Whereas they are each an hour long. One is very humorous and the other is very dramatic. And it is set in a 2020 high school. And he has a lot of conversations of issues that high school is my deal with. And I think that is a very brilliant way to showcase a very antiquated opera."

Is Dido sung in English and Le Docteur in French? "Yes, to both." Greg states to Jeff. 

Maya plays Dido. Tell me about the dramatic and vocal challenge she presents. "This has. It has challenged me technically wise. There are a lot of technical differences compared to like singing solo boys and Ashley performing in production of an opera. And plus, on top of that, not only are you singing with your vocal voice.

But on top of that, you have to remember your staging and interaction with other characters. Making sure that you put on that emotional state you're supposed to have during that scene. And it's so much different also because the station and how we decided to put it into a modern time in an actual high school."

Does it require a lot of vocal range? "It is very wide. It is wide; it is very dramatic, but with the help of Dr. Gallagher, it's really it has been a hard process. Still, it has been very rewarding because, and only does it help me become a better performer while doing this opera. Still, it makes me a better soloist outside. Because I know where I need to work on technical wise and everything that I have."

Jasmine is Laurette, the Italian daughter of a mayor.

Is this opera as funny as I think it is? "Oh, it is hilarious. Because we have a hard time not laughing just during rehearsal. And we have seen it, and we have sung it 1 million times end; it just keeps getting funnier because we keep adding something every time we do it."

Additionally, there are two casts for this production. One for Friday and one for Saturday. So, the Silvio's (Laurette's courtier) have a few different costumes. Three total Just for one person. Each one is more ridiculous than the next. Lots of colors and it is fun to look at.

What do you enjoy about playing Laurette? Including the singing part of the role: "I always enjoy the singing. It's definitely challenging, but I think it's challenging in a way that, as Maya says, it has been rewarding. It has made me a better musician and a better actor."

A Double Bill of One-Act Operas:

Dido and Aeneas, Composed by Henry Purcell

Le Docteur Miracle, Composed by Georges Bizet

Directed by Travis Sherwood and Gregory Gallagher

Buchanan Hall, ENMU Music Building

Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available at ENMUopera.booktix.com

All the great arts at Eastern are found at <enmu.edu/fineartsevents> And learn more about this program at KENW.org