Since my first semester at Penn, I have been a performing member of the Penn Singers Light Opera Company. This professionally led group performs a Broadway-style musical in the fall semester and a light opera in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan in the spring semester. From an experience In the woods to a virtual Now. Right here. This., I have made some amazing friendships while growing up as a performer and arts administrator. In December, I was elected 2022 President of this 50-year-old company and immediately worked to hire directors for our production of Patience. As a producer, I learned how to organize auditions from an administrative point of view, to liaise between the rehearsal room and the designers, to plan the rehearsals and the technical week, to organize production meetings, etc The most rewarding part of producing a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta is having the ability to rewrite lines to eliminate problematic content and highlight the themes we want our story to tell. While our fall production will likely be a licensed show, I look forward to engaging our company in community outreach around the messages we want our audiences to walk away with. I’m excited to not only produce our fall show, but also to perform in it, which will allow me to better understand the dynamics of the rehearsal room. While production can be an incredibly busy and crazy job with lots of COVID complications to deal with on top of the normal issues, it has been a pleasure to host a fantastic group of performers.
My first producer’s note is at the beginning of the light opera program:
It was an honor to take on the role of leader of this prestigious 50-year-old company after our first in-person production in years. Mom Mia brought together our company, current and past singers, and ushered in an incredible class of beginners. We are delighted to return to our roots with our colorful and quirky Gilbert & Sullivan production. Patience! In the spring of my freshman year, I fell in love with light opera as I was able to explore the origins of musical theater with some of my closest friends. Even though the show was canceled due to the pandemic, I learned a lot about myself as a performer and musician. As the producer of our first in-person light opera in years, I’ve enjoyed growing as a leader, watching newbies fall in love with Gilbert & Sullivan’s music and comedy, and watching our seniors shine in their final show. . Patience is the perfect light opera for singers to stage this spring as it has allowed us to revitalize a classic show to make it relevant for today’s world. By pushing the boundaries of gender binary, monogamy, and homosexuality, we were able to create commentary on issues facing the LGBTQ+ community today. This production would not have been possible without the constant support of the Singers Board, the dedication of our directors and the enthusiasm of our management team. Welcome to our world of poetry and love!