Groups to present comic one-act operas

Staff report


Two one-act operas, “Trial by Jury” and “Cox and Box,” will be presented Thursday through April 27 at Youngstown State University’s Ford Theater, which is inside Bliss Hall.

The Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday show will begin at 2 p.m.

The performances are a collaboration between YSU’s Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series and the Dana School of Music.

An opening night dinner will be Thursday at 6 p.m. at the MVR restaurant, 410 N. Walnut St. Dinner-theater package tickets are $20 for season ticket holders and $30 for nonseason ticket holders. Advance reservations and payment are mandatory. Call the box office at 330-941-3105. No walk-ins will be permitted.

This performance is the first opera at YSU staged under the auspices of the Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series, made possible by Christine and Edward Muransky, in honor of Christine’s father.

The Muransky family donated $100,000 to support the series and the YSU opera in perpetuity. The Performing Arts Series was renamed as a result of that gift.

“This series is such a perfect tribute to my beloved dad’s memory because music gave him such great pleasure,” said Christine Muransky. “He especially loved live performances, and I have very fond memories of attending programs at Dana with him. Ed and I are so gratified to contribute to a jewel in our community and honor a man we loved dearly.”

“Trial By Jury” showcases a jilted bride who exchanges “I do” for “I sue” as she takes her faithless fiance to court. This comic opera launched Gilbert & Sullivan’s legendary career in musical theater.

In “Cox & Box,” book by F.C. Burnand and music by Arthur S. Sullivan, a landlord comes up with a novel solution to the housing shortage, and a way to double his rental income. Sullivan’s delightful melodies are set to a pre-Gilbert libretto.

Allan R. Mosher is the opera program director. Nancy Andersen Wolfgang is musical theater program director and conductor.

David Vosburgh is stage director and scenic designer.

Assistant director for “Trial by Jury” is Dean La Salandra. Assistant director for “Cox and Box” is Kathie Steeb.

Lighting designer is Kevin Wolfgang; costumer is Barbara Luce; and production manager is Todd Dicken. In addition, others assisting with the production include Girard City Schools Youth Chorus, Sue Ellen Harris Davis, director; stage manager, Devin Whitehouse; musical preparation, Jerry Rezanka; and master carpenter, Frank Bongen.

Each one-act is double cast.

The “Trial By Jury” cast includes (Thursday and Saturday): Dean La Salandra, Patrick Niess, Anthony Humphrey, Gabriel Talanca and Rebecca Enlow; and (Friday and April 27) La Salandra, Joseph Alvey, Matthew Malloy, Victor S. Cardamone and Kathie Steeb.

In all performances are Megan Anderson, Carly Magnuson, Zara Markman, Kelly Sullivan, Eric Shonk, Josh Fleming, Alison R. Dolphin, Diane L. Pack, Erika Walker and Emily Shipley.

Students from the Girard City Schools include Ricky Marsico, Mia Barber, Selena Williams and Dante Byrne.

The “Cox and Box” cast includes (Thursday and Saturday) Shonk, La Salandra, Pack, Anderson and Cardamone; and (Friday and April 27) Humphrey, Talanca, Pack, Dolphin and Niess. Josh Fleming is the Bouncer understudy.

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