This is an article that has been published by the Temple Daily Telegram about the
Atlantic Coast Opera.
UMHB Students in Atlantic Coast Opera Festival
Belton, Texas – Six students from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor have been invited to participate in
the Atlantic Coast Opera Festival in Philadelphia which begins on June 13. The students are Joe Ahlert,
Amanda Cantu, Rachel Boeselt, Zecheriah Baker, Matt Klepac, and Billy Chapman. All
six students are under the tout ledge of George Hogan, director of the UMHB Opera/Musical Theater program.
The six UMHB undergraduates
will be performing in nine different concerts as young artists throughout Eastern
Pennsylvania, Northern Delaware and Southern New Jersey. Performances will include scenes and acts of eighteen different operas. Each
young artist will perform in full costume with makeup, props, set. The people
attending will include a paying audience and reviewers from Opera Now (British Magazine), Opera News, the New York Times,
the Courier Post (New Jersey) and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
major productions (some young artists will be doing smaller roles and returning apprentices from last years young artist program
will be doing major roles in the national cast) include Die Fledermaus, Cavalleria Rusticana,
I Pagliacci. These main stage shows will be performed at the Eastern
Regional Performing Arts Center in Voorhees, NJ and at the Lang Performing Arts Center at Swarthmore College.
A typical day for
these young apprentice artists will include: private sessions with international vocal coaches, conductors and directors,
advanced Acting and Stage Movement, Make-up Classes, Master Classes with International Singers, full staged rehearsals, building
sets, making costumes, voice classes, audition classes, and career advancement advising with international artists managers
and agents. They will be residing in a very nice corporate apartment complex
which provides all necessary amenities, including continental breakfast, pool, computer internet, etc.
The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival is the East Coast's
Newest Opera Company located in Southern New Jersey, with performances throughout the Philadelphia and New Jersey
area. Robert McFarland, General Director
of the ACOF, had this to say in a recent telephone interview:
“Our mission is to give a second home to young artists who have completed their
studies at the graduate level. We provide a stepping stone into the arena of a full time national and international career
for these talented young singers. Our desire is to solidify and secure their
position in the field of performing. The young artist or apprentice we are looking
for not only must display an upper echelon of singing and acting ability but also a heart and soul that touches an audience. We look for artists that possess that special ability to touch someone’s soul
with their singing. In essence, our apprentice program is interested in singers
that sing with their heart and soul.”
have heard over 800 international singers audition for our company this season. We
took a total of 31 apprentices this year. Some of the bigger graduate schools
only have one or two in our summer program. We have taken six from UMHB. Does that tell you something about what is happening at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor? It should! I was touched by every one of the singers we heard in Belton. Obviously, their talent was some of the best that we auditioned.
UMHB is extremely fortunate to have such talent and the faculty is doing an excellent job with their development.”
I am very proud and excited about our opera program at UMHB. The ACOF program
will provide our students with a very positive environment. The instructors are
some of my close friends and colleagues. Our UMHB singers will be afforded an
advanced and professional training which will positively influence, integrate, and set them up for success as a future world
class professional singer.”
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