Ben Thomas reporter
The Pittsburg State University Opera Theatre and the Southeast Kansas Symphony held performances last weekend of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore”. They were held in the Linda and Lee Scott Performance Hall at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts.
The story revolves around the crew of the H.M.S. Pinafore, clumsy captains, and a handful of clingy sisters, cousins, and aunts. In the ports of England the show begins with the age-old predicament of love. The male lead Ralph Rackstraw is in love with the captain’s daughter, who happens to be in love with Rackstraw but also has to deal with a marriage proposal from the First Lord of the Admiralty. The comedic and lighthearted opera gave audiences plenty of laughs, songs to enjoy, and even featured a big twist.
“The rehearsal process was kind of tedious at first, very long but very important,” said the male lead and junior in music education, Joseph Barnes.
Barnes described the adventure of learning the music for the opera and transitioning from the auditoriums on campus to the main theatre at Bicknell.
“Performing tonight felt great, surreal…it was quite enjoyable and a lot of fun. I definitely suggest that anybody that wants to join up with opera should do it…” said Barnes.
Those who were interested in participating in the show could sign up for the class, no matter their major.
“We do one big show like this a year and it’s made up mostly of students and a few community members. So we have a class that students can sign up for just like math or english. It’s auditioned and then we cast the show usually in the Fall and then rehearse it…” said instructor of voice and opera, Patrick Howle. “I chose this because it is a great show for students who are wanting to participate in a big ensemble. There are different lead parts but it’s really an ensemble group, so I thought it was a really good show to do with the students that we currently had at school. So I was able to cast it based on some students that I knew were going to be here.”
Students were able to attend the event for free with a valid student ID.
I have a lot of friends in it but I also really like musicals and stuff, that’s kinda my whole high school career. I really enjoyed it!” said Logan Jones, junior in music education.
Howle explains how he likes to give newer students some experience with smaller parts and as they learn they can move into bigger parts in the future.
“I thought [the performance] went really well, I was very pleased. I think the students had a really good time and I think the audience enjoyed it,” said Howle.