Annapolis Opera invites students to dinner, dress rehearsal of 'La Traviata'

November 07, 1994

One of the things I truly love about getting older is the myriad opportunities that are given me to learn that stereotypes and assumptions are equally risky, and that having them shattered can be great fun.

A case in point is opera. I grew up with a Mom who went to opera but didn't play it at home and an image of the typical opera buff as a New Yorker cartoon in formal dress with massive bosom or belly. (My mother, of course, was an aberration).

Come to find out, the human voice is an extraordinary instrument, the stories of opera can be every bit as breathtaking as the novels I tend to immerse myself in. And, there are many folks, old and young, who can make the transition from Parton to Pavarotti in the blink of an eye, without blushing.

One of the reasons is that opera companies have made a major commitment to introducing people to the art form in creative ways. The Annapolis Opera, for example, has invited middle and high school students and teachers in music and drama classes to the dress rehearsal of Guiseppe Verdi's "La Traviata" on Nov. 16.

In addition, there's a preperformance Provencal dinner at Loew's Annapolis Hotel on Nov. 18, designed to set the mood for the romantic production.

"La Traviata" will be performed at 8 p.m on Nov. 18 and at 3 p.m. on Nov. 20 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. There will be a "La Traviata" memorabilia raffle after the final performance, which will include Violetta's brooch, made for the Annapolis Opera by local jeweler Ron George.

Performance tickets are $25 for adults, $21 for seniors, and $15 for students. Raffle tickets are six for $5, and the preperformance dinner is $35. The dress rehearsal is free for students, but a list of attendees must be submitted in advance.

Information: Susan Norin, Annapolis Opera coordinator, at 266-6258.

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Storytelling through song is as old as storytelling itself. In opera, the music takes precedence over the words, and in the folk tradition, the tune tends to be secondary to the tale.

Balladeers Janie Meneely and Jeff Holland, of the group, Crab Alley, will prove it, on Nov. 19, when they entertain with songs and stories of the Chesapeake at the Galesville Community Hall. Admission is $5.

Children under 12, accompanied by an adult, will get in free.

Jeff and Janie are authors, as well as entertainers, and they'll stay around after their performance to share hot cider with the audience, and to sign copies of their books, "The Sea Monster that Ate Annapolis" and "Santa and the Skipjack."

The Crab Alley appearance is sponsored by West River Antiques; it begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Galesville Community Hall, near the fire station.

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Somewhere between the formality of opera and the fun of contemporary folk is the music of history, which will be showcased at 7 p.m. this Sunday in the Great Hall at St. John's College.

David and Ginger Hildebrand have pieced together a comprehensive picture of the musical life of Annapolis from the late 1600s through the Revolution. In costume, and with period instruments, they take the audience from the taverns to the great homes, with a sound that is "wonderfully warm and rich . . . their two voices blend magically," according to Maryland Historical Magazine.

The Hildebrands' performance is part of St. John's Music in the Great Hall series. A reception with dessert and wine follows the performance.

Tickets are $15 general admission, available at the door a half-hour before the performance, and $12 for students and seniors.

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This is the second and final weekend for the Naval Academy's Masqueraders performances of "Arsenic and Old Lace," Joseph Kesselring's enduring comedy about two charming ladies who have a unique way of dealing with the loneliness of old gentlemen.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. shows in Mahan Hall Friday and Saturday are $8 and $6. Call 268-6060, or 800-US-4-NAVY.

If available, tickets also will be sold at the door.

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One way to almost guarantee that the garden you tended so lovingly this summer will survive through the winter is to protect plants with cold frames.

London Town Publik House and Gardens concludes its Good Gardening Series from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday with a workshop on construction of simple cold frames and demonstrations of good protection practices.

A $5 registration fee is required for those who are not London Town Foundation members.

Call 222-1919 for more information.

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The ninth leg of the 1994 Annapolis Striders Championship Series will take place at 10 a.m. Nov. 27 at South River High School in Edgewater. The course for the famous Cold Turkey 20K Run covers scenic paved country roads and a few hills.

Advanced registration by mail is $3 for Annapolis Striders, $4 for nonmembers. Mail registrations will be accepted through Nov. 19. Race day entries, beginning at 8:30 a.m., are $1 more.

No headphones, baby joggers, or roller blades are permitted. The race is limited to the first 500 entrants. A limited number of Cold Turkey T-shirts will be for sale on race day.

For more information call race director John Magnan at 573-0571, or the Striders Hotline at 410-268-1165.

If you would like to have news of your organization or event published in this column, call Lyn Backe, 626-0273.

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