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Sac State Opera Theatre celebrates 'Can-Can'

10-31-2013

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Sacramento State’s opera students certainly can “Can-Can.”

The University’s Opera Theatre will present The Can-Can: An Offenbach Celebration at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in the Music Recital Hall on the campus at 6000 J St.

Jacques Offenbach was a late-1800s parodist whose operas and operettas were based on the more serious works of others. “After Offenbach saw a major opera, he would come up with his own silly scenario, interject some of the music or story from the opera and which everyone would have heard, and then sort of make fun of the people in contemporary society and politics,” says Opera Theatre Director Omari Tau.

Offenbach’s “Infernal Galop,” better known as “The Can-Can,” is arguably his most recognizable piece. That kind of upbeat, popular music is one of the reasons Offenbach was chosen as the theme for this fall’s presentation. “The music is not only tuneful and catchy, but it also is something that’s light enough that our audiences can catch onto,” Tau says.

The 16 performers are portraying the spirits of departed actors from an old theater who come back to take on some of the roles they played.

Senior Tiffany Patterson, a vocal performance major, already was familiar with Offenbach’s music, having performed it previously at Shasta College.

“His music is really fun,” she says.

Patterson has solos in three scenes. Each has a different mood, including an aria from “La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein,” which is similar to a military march.

She acknowledges that some people may be a little put off about attending opera but adds that everyone will have a good time with Offenbach. “It’s fun, singing, dancing and ridiculous humor,” Patterson says.

Tickets are $10 general, $7 seniors and $5 students, available at the University Ticket Office, (916) 278-4323 or www.csus.edu/hornettickets.

For more information, call (916) 278-5191 or visit the Music Department at www.csus.edu/music. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156. – Craig Koscho