Mary Cheung, Head Illustrator
Each school year, SUNY Oneonta’s Apollo Music Club produces an opera for the Oneonta community. President of Apollo Music Club Jackie Zopf, says that the club rotates between classical opera and contemporary opera. Depending on the voice parts needed and the availability of talent, an opera is chosen by the club.
Upon the sudden return of the college’s spring 2012 semester, Apollo Music Club will be presenting Little Women on the Goodrich Theater stage. Little Women is a contemporary opera, composed and written in the 1990s by Mark Adamo. Based on the classic 19th century novel by Louisa May Alcott, the opera is “not typical to what people are hearing when they hear a classical opera or a classical musical,” says Colby Thomas, the faculty advisor of Apollo Music Club and the director of Little Women.
“This is a quiet story of beautiful moments.” According to Thomas, this opera deals with change in the family which affect sisters, Jo (Megan Harrington), Meg (Chelsea Riegal), Amy (Alexandra Schleuderer) and Beth (Sarah Buell). For Buell, she shares a similar experience to the characters in the show: She’s shared numerous ups and downs with her 17-months-younger sister. “But our relationship has only gotten stronger despite that. This has proved to me the power of the bond between sisters, regardless of the many changes and obstacles life throws at us,” says Buell.
Working alongside students of SUNY Oneonta and making their operatic appearances in Little Women are Dr. Steve Markuson of SUNY Oneonta’s music department and Johana Arnold, adjunct professor at Hartwick College. Charles Schneider, conductor of the Catskill Symphony Orchestra, is the musical director and conductor of this production. Thomas and Kim Paterson, musical coach and accompanist, plan to rehearse a week before classes resume during this winter’s break. Look forward to the February performances of Little Women on the 8, 9 and 10.