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by Anthony Chase
This weekend brings us interesting programs from two local operatic troupes, Buffalo Opera Unlimited and Opera-Lytes.
The former, now in its 29th year, focuses on providing local singers the opportunity to sing major operatic roles. The latter delves into the realm of operetta, heavy on the Gilbert and Sullivan at which they are masters, but willing to go anywhere legit voices are required.
Performing at 710 Main, Buffalo Opera Unlimited is offering Barroom Brawls, a pairing of two short operas set in barrooms. Blue Monday is a seldom performed short opera by George Gershwin, and The Fall of Stag Lee is a world premiere short opera by Western New York native composer Darryl Glenn Nettles, who currently serves on the faculty at Tennessee State University.
The Gershwin musical had a tumultuous and disappointing production history, back in the days when African-American characters were not necessarily played by African- American performers. The piece, nonetheless, exerted great influence, and is seen as a predecessor to achievements of the Harlem Renaissance.
The Fall of Stag Lee is based on a real event at the turn of the 19th century, and has elements of jazz and blues, and dance sequences that will be performed by the LehrerDance Company.
Opera-Lytes is taking on the beloved musical by Joe Masteroff, Jerry Bock, and Sheldon Harnick, She Love Me, at the Alleyway Theatre. With an irresistibly pleasing score, the show is one of a number of reworkings of Miklos Laszlo’s Parfumerie, in which a man and woman who despise each other at work are unaware that they are each other’s secret pen pals. The original 1963 production featured Barbara Cook.
For ticket information, dates, and times for these productions see the On the Boards section.
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