Operas feature madness, mayhem, mischievous witch

Can you sue someone for breaking off an engagement? According to famed composers Gilbert and Sullivan, you can.

Their courtroom farce, “Trial by Jury,” opens a double-bill evening of opera April 27-29 in Price Theater. The performance also will feature the children’s classic “Hansel and Gretel.”

The fickle defendant, Edwin, has fallen in love with another woman and jilted the plaintiff, Angelina, which creates madness and mayhem in true Gilbert and Sullivan fashion.

“These outrageous characters in this ridiculous situation will having you laughing all night long,” said Eli Grant, who plays the judge.

The cast of 26 includes Music, Musical Theatre and Theatre Arts majors and minors, and the work is hailed by theatre scholar and critic Kurt Gänzl as “probably the most successful British one-act operetta of all time.”

Leigh Anne Hamlin (Angelina) enjoys the vocal challenge of the role and style.

“I’m learning how to switch singing styles from a more contemporary musical theatre sound to the classical operatic sound that is required for this role,” she said. “We are loving playing these larger-than-life characters.”

The second offering of the evening is Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel,” complete with an outlandish witch, her gingerbread house, candy cane cage and – and of course – that oven. Through ingenuity and a little teamwork, Hansel and Gretel escape the witch’s evil designs and all ends happily.

LC alumna Savannah Bracewell ’17 returns to portray Hansel.

“Playing a young boy has definitely been challenging and such a delight,” she said. “I am grateful for this opportunity to do something I love with people whom I love.”

Gretel is played by Kelsey Seals, and the mischievous witch, Rosina Daintymouth, is played by Anna Courtney. The opera also features a guest appearance by the Young Singers of West Georgia who make up the chorus of gingerbread children.

“We are thrilled to include the Young Singers of West Georgia in our cast,” said Dr. Toni Anderson, director and conductor.

“These witty and enchanting performances appeal to children of all ages,” said “Trial by Jury” director Kim Barber Knoll.

Kelsey agrees.

“If you want to have fun, hear amazing singing and watch zany situations unfold onstage, you want to be at our Night of Operas!”

Performances are 7 p.m. April 27 and 28 at Price Theater, with a 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and non-LC students, while LC faculty, staff and students will be admitted free. The box office opens Monday and will be open from noon until 4 p.m. weekdays. Reservations also can be made by contactingpriceboxoffice@lagrange.edu or by calling 706-880-8080.

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