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The Talent You’re Missing in the Middle of Georgetown

Arts And Entertainment Features

The Talent You’re Missing in the Middle of Georgetown


The small but mighty cohort of SU opera students, directed by Dr. Bruce Cain, performed three scenes from various operas on April 13 and 14 including scenes from Norma, a song titled “The Blind Beggars,” and scenes from La Cenerentola, more familiarly known as Cinderella.

While opera theater performances typically yield low attendance, this semester’s show had a great turnout. The Megaphone interviewed junior Makenna (Mak) Palacio, and she shared her insight on the raised audience numbers:

“I was really happy with it and was really pleased. I know more people have been hearing me sing solos so that helped bring people in.” A key takeaway is that networking for musicians is important because it gains followers.

The show opened with two scenes from Norma, a powerful and tragic Italian opera revolving around love and its horrors. The songs were from the perspective of the characters Adalgisa and Poeleone. Mak performed as Adalgisa through a solo from the fifth scene, with a song titled “Sgombra è la sacra.”

When talking to Makenna about her role, she shared her focus on playing Adalgisa. “My scene starts in the forest because I am a druid and that is my temple,” Makenna said. Her character longs for Poleone, her best friend’s husband. Poeleone and Adalgisa are in a secret relationship and want to go to Rome together. Since she is singing in Italian, she provided the English translation: “I’m saying ‘God protect me, help me make the right decisions, show me the way, because I am lost.’” To get into character, Mak said she likes to “put [herself] into that person’s situation.”

Her solo transitions into a duet from the sixth scene with senior Sebastian Fernandez, titled “Eccola va mi lascia.” In this scene, Sebastian’s character Poeleone attempts to convince Makenna’s Adalgisa to leave for Rome with her. The scene ends with an embrace and a bow, and the two walk off stage. 

After this dramatic operatic scene, the mood switches to comedy, as students performed a piece titled “The Blind Beggars”. Freshman Tara Mozena and senior Noor Nazeer began the scene, dressed in trench coats, sunglasses, and walking canes. Already, the air is light as the audience is filled with laughter. The joke? Neither of them are blind. They are soon followed onstage by freshman Jason Bui, senior Maxwell Klug, and junior Kirk Cooper, also all dressed as beggars. The five sing about asking for money, how they cannot see, and how this has ‘tragically’ affected them. The scene ends in comedic air, with all five taking their sunglasses off and revealing themselves and the truth to each other.

The final part of the opera was songs from Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella). All performers played roles in the famous story of Cinderella, with Mak as Cinderella and Maxwell as the Prince. The chorus of all voices joined together in beautiful harmony, performing scenes from Act 1 of the Cinderella opera and the finale. 

The energy that the performers brought to the stage created a fantastic atmosphere for the audience. Audience attendance and engagement is half of the fun and joy for the performers, so make sure to check out the upcoming performances happening at the Alma Thomas Theater to support growing musicians. Watch here for the live-streamed performance.

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