January 27, 2015

Comic operas come to Shryock stage Feb. 6-8

by Vincent Rhomberg

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The audience shares stage space at Shryock Auditorium for a double-bill of one-act comic operas set for Feb. 6-8. 

The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Department of Theater and School of Music present “Captain Lovelock” and “The Music Shop” for performances where audience seating is right on the stage near the performers. 

“It will make for a fun and cozy evening,” Tim Fink, head of the opera and musical theater programs, said. 

“Captain Lovelock” by John Duke, based on Ludvig Holberg’s comedy “The Changed Bridegroom,” tells the story of daughters who conspire to prevent their widowed mother from marrying a young army officer who is only after her money. To do this, they present a new paramour -- their maid in disguise. Fink directs this performance and Paul Transue, associate professor of collaborative piano, and vocal and opera coach, is musical director. Jenna Dosch, graduate student, serves as accompanist. 

“The Music Shop” by Richard Wargo, based on the short story “Forgot” by Anton Chekhov, is about a bumbling husband who has come to a music shop to buy music for a song his wife is to sing at the prince’s wedding. He’s forgotten which song he needs, and the store clerks try to help him remember. Graduate student Nich Radcliffe directs this performance, and Transue is musical director. Marla Hansen, graduate student, provides accompaniment. 

For both operas, Ron Naverson, professor emeritus, designed the sets, Wendi R. Zea, assistant professor, handled the costumes, and junior theater student Emmanuel Castillo handled the lighting. 

Some parts alternate between performers. Performers, by hometown, include:

“Captain Lovelock”


  • Marion: Laura Kucharik (the widow)


  • Berea: Sydney Alex Dycus (daughter Leonora)


  • Ballwin: Kristina Jordan (the maid)


  • Raleigh: Jessica Samples (daughter Laurentia)


  • Muskego: Lydia Eiche (the maid)


  • WuHan: Candice (Zhang) Lu (the matchmaker) 

“The Music Shop” 


  • Carterville: Michelle Ford (Masha, the store clerk)


  • Birmingham: Paul Hawkins (Ivan, the husband)
  • Dothan – Richard Lisenby (Ivan, the husband)


  • Hermann: Brittney Leimkuhler (the wife)


  • Omaha: Kevin A. Smith (shop owner)


  • Brookfield: Emily Davis (the wife)