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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 17, 1975)
Wednesday, September 17, 1975
Audiences at UNL's ' production of
Showboat, Oct. 16 .o 19, will view the re
sults of two major changes in the UNL
opera program made by Roger Stephens,
who became opera theater director three
A musical, instead of an opera, is being
produced. Also, the cast includes students
who are not music majors. Open auditions
let nonmusic students get involved in a
show, Stephens said. About 100 students
auditioned for the 65 parts in Showboat.
Showboat was adapted by Oscar Ham
merstein and Jerome Kern from the novel
by Edna Ferber.
"I don't feel we have to do all grand
operas to have a worthwhile program," he
said. "I do try and pick shows which re
quire good choral singing."
Stephens said he thinks musicals appeal
to more students, as performers and
Both operas and musicals are dramatic
E inductions, Stephens said. He added that
e chose students who are good actors over
those who had no acting experience, but
To develop stage presence and gain ex
perience in nonverbal communication, an
opera performance class is offered by the
UNL School of Music.
The students mime the actions of a
character against a background of'instru
mental music, Stephens said.
Students must learn when they stop
singing, they stop acting, he said.
They must realize that everything they
do on stage adds or detracts from the char
acter they are trying to portray," Stephens
Stephens held a position similar to his
E resent one at the University of Northern
lichigan- at Marquette for six years before
he came to UNL.
Singers learn to act
In Michigan, Stephens had his first ex
perience with staging and he said he de
veloped a system similar to that of Boris
Goldovsky's, which is "based on teaching
singers how to act."
Goldovsky, a leading figure in American
opera, has been moderator for the Metro
politan Opera broadcasts and has directed
several opera workshops. '
Stephens studied for two years with
Arthur Schoep, who he refers to as "Boris
Goldovsky's right hand," at North Texas
State in Denton.
Before Stephens went to Michigan, he
had been a performer, director and conduc
tor of operas and musicals at Capital Uni
versity in Columbus, Ohio, and East Carol
ina University in Greenville, N.C.
He said the major advantages UNL has
over Northern Michigan are its larger size
and budget, which allows three shows a
year. He also cited the comradeship among
the UNL music faculty members as a factor
in his decision to come to UNL.
"I have never been at a school where
everyone pulls for everyone else like they
do here," he said. "Usually there is rivalry
and jealousy between staff members, but
here there seems to be the attitude that if
we can put on a good show, it will benefit
He also said UNL has talented students,
particularly singers, and alarge, appreciative
audience in Lincoln!
He attributes UNL's audiences to a lack
of opera-musical productions in the
Lincoln area, in addition to the reputation
of UNL for "putting on a show you don't
want to miss.
The opera theater program, along with
two other programs in the music school, is
receiving extra funds from the "Areas of
In addition to paying production costs,
he said, the money will go for scholarships
to singers and orchestra members, graduate
coaching assistants and others.
Program to be reviewed
The program will be evaluated after
Showboat performances by what he calls
"prominent individuals in the area." Fu
ture funds depend on the success of the
It will cost about $12,000 to put on
Showboat, Stephens said. The show is
unusually expensive because it covers the
time from the 1880's to the 1920's, and
requires 65 cast members, he said.
"We want to put on a spectacle as was
done when the show 0rst opened in 1927,"
"I think of this production as a sort of
Bicentennial tribute-an example of typical
American musical theater," he said.
Stephens said he has cut Showboat's
running time from three and one-half to
two and one-half hours and has removed
some language which might be considered
. "While we can't ignore the period of
this piece, we can avoid the blatancy of
some of the racism in the play," he said.
Words such as "nigger" have been re
moved, and in some places, "white folk" as
contrasted with "colored folk" has been
changed to a comparison of "rich and poor
folks," he said.
The production is intended to be educa
tional, Stephens said. 'The first thing a
high school music teacher will have to do
is put on a Broadway musical-we want
people to have the experience to do this."
Stephens teaches a summer class for
teachers in musical production, and says he
gets students "who have already sponsored
a show yet don't know the basic
Plese be advised that the Center for Student ond Organ
izations will b conducting its fall orientation on Thursday,
September 18th, 1975, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. It w!l be con
ducted in the small auditorium located in the basement of
the Student Union Building.
This meeting will be important for all persons who are
actively involved in their organizations. We will cover all
aspects of the treasurer's responsibilities plus the require
ments and procedures to follow relative to activities and
events conducted by student organizations. Please plan to
t"fila w arl m WmIV fchi HAVELOCK
JEANS & THINGS
All New Merchandise
Try the SALVAGE CENTER.
CURRENT STYLES FOR BACK
TO SCHOOL. .
In Hovekxk Master Charge, BankAmerlcard
Hourst Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday ond .
Saturday y:30e.m.-5:39 p.m.;
VVsdnosdov T:S0 e.m.-i:30p.m.
. . aeeting-PatH TOMIGE-ST
"fco i a.fi
Tha UN-L Ski Club Invites anyone even rimotoly In
terested in a.) skiing; b.) socializing; c.) both a and b
to attend our first gtt togtther of this year at tha
Chateau Laflaur Clubhouse tonight, beginning at
8:00 p.m. If you have a night class, coma after-wards-everyone
will still be there. If you al
ready renewed your membership, or paid your
five buck! at the Activities Mart In the Union
last wtak, admission, naturally, l free. Those
wanting to become members should bring five bucks
for your year membership. If you're not sure you
want to Join, buck will get you In, then well
convince you to reconsider. Of course, you can
join anytime In the school year, but the sooner
you do, the more you II get for your money.
Wednesday, Oct 15 8:00 pm. "Boogie and Beverage" at the Radisson-Cornhusker
Wednesday. Nov. 12 8:00 p.m. "Reeling and Rolling." First a get together at the
NThomasbrook Apartments Clubhouse, and at 10:00
a man migration to the Holiday Roller Skating
Wednesday, Dec 3 8:00 p.m. "Chine and Weese" is i yearly traditional event
of the UN-L Ski Club to be h!d this year at the
Chateau Ufieur Clubhouse.
i. ' .
Wednesday, Dec. 17 8:00 p.m. This Is our final meeting-party to wrap up the details
before wu go on our winter tkl trips- one of which is
to Snowbird, Utah.
Spring Parties To be announced. .
For M cro
John QchuKingi Preo,
Come to Snowbird and
cJi Irlfju it its
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