Bravo, Augusta! If you were one of the people who saw Augusta University’s production of The Marriage of Figaro this past weekend, you know what a spectacular show it was.
The professionals and the students were first-rate, the music and presentation was excellent and the acting was outstanding. I have seen operas presented in Augusta for more than 25 years and this clearly was one of the best.
Congratulations to Tonya Currier, administrative director of the American Opera and Musical Theater Institute; to Patti Myers, music director and conductor; to Kaley Smith, stage director; to the professionals (some of whom live in Augusta), and to the marvelous, talented students.
It was especially heartening to see the large turnout. Everyone who saw the show came away entertained.
For performing arts to be successful there has to be engagement on both sides of the footlights. The audience enjoys it more when the actors/singers are engaged, and the performers get energized when the audience is engaged. This show brought out the best from both sides.
This is how opera is meant to be. It’s not some stuffy, old-fashioned, society-type trifle. You’re supposed to laugh, cry, get angry and have a good time at an opera. It is the most emotional, most engaging of the performing arts.
With the level of talent we have in Augusta, and with the level of talent we can attract from outside the community, I think we can look forward to many years of magical performances.
Now, to help make that happen, we need to help the American Opera and Musical Theater Institute. A generous anonymous donor has agreed to match our donations up to $50,000. That will give the institute $100,000 toward mounting another memorable production.
If we want to continue to attract top students from around the country, and to keep seeing great opera and musical theater, we need to support Augusta University.
(The writer – former executive editor of The Augusta Chronicle – is a former president of the Augusta Opera Association.)