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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Little Women’ opera holds true to original tale

    Typical young girl must-haves include pink lipstick, a Barbie doll and Louisa May Alcott’s “”Little Women.”” Although most of our tastes have become too sophisticated for Mattel’s plastic blonde, “”Little Women”” is still something that many hold dear.

    To bring us this classic in a different form, the Arizona Opera Company of the School of Music is presenting “”Little Women,”” to open this weekend.

    Chloe Hunter, a vocal performance graduate student who plays the part of the tragic character Beth, has looked to not only the book but also the most recent make of the film for inspiration to getting into character.

    “”It is Claire Danes who plays her, she did a really good job,”” Hunter said.

    Although they have been rehearsing for months, Hunter cannot quite shake the sadness of her character’s death. Hunter said that the opera’s music, written by Mark Adamo, is extra emotional for that particular scene.

    “”It’s just so sad, I really like her character,”” Hunter said. “”(Adamo) just really made it a tear jerker.””

    Hunter describes parts of the music throughout the production as somewhat like spoken word, which is quite unique for an opera.

    “”If you listen to the music, sometimes it doesn’t really sound melodic but it really gives you an insight to the character. It is very modern but at the same time it is very touching,”” Hunter said. “”It is really, really tough music. I spent a lot of time with that.””

    Kara Harris, a vocal performance senior who is playing the part of Meg, also found the music for this production to be particularly challenging.

    “”Definitely by far the hardest music I have ever learned, there is so many rhythm and meter changes,”” Harris said. “”I know I am able to learn music much faster now that I have had this role.””

    The character of Meg is the oldest, the beauty and the one who is supposed to keep her younger sisters in line.

    “”I wanted her to be more calm than I am,”” Harris said. “”She is the sane one.””

    Because it is an opera, not all aspects of the original plot have been kept, but Harris said the elements that attract most people to the story in the first place carry on in this version.

    “”It’s an American opera by an American composer with an American story. It’s not overly fluff, it’s just very real,”” Harris said.

    “”Little Women”” will open tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and will be performed again Sunday at 3 p.m. Both shows will be in the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre. General admission is $15, admission is $12 for UA employees and seniors over the age of 55 and $10 for students.

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