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Allied Arts gives opera students a stage

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The Recital Hall, at The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

For a few hours, the heart of the Student Union Theater transformed into the famous New York Metropolitan Opera House.

Allied Arts, an organization made from the Office of Arts, Culture and Entertainment, offered a taste of the arts around campus by streaming “Rusalka” from The Met.

“The idea is to bring professional arts programs onto campus,” said Kayla Loper, the manager of Arts, Culture and Entertainment. “It’s also an avenue for the community to become involved. Within the past couple years, we’ve made changes for students to get involved.”

“Rusalka” is the third installment in a series focused on streaming operas from the Met to the Student Union Theater. Directly before the showing, OSU opera students gave a sneak peek performance of their own productions.

This showing is part of a series of four operas hosted by Allied Arts. OSU opera students are given the opportunity to show their passion for music to both the community of Stillwater and the university.

The opera combines theatre and music, but unlike a musical, it relays the story fully through song. Music education senior Jonathon Rhoades expressed the connection between the two performance arts.

“In the end, opera is a form of musical expression, which is an extension of emotions,” Rhoades said. “Music is one of the primary ways we are taught as kids as to how we can communicate our emotions in a healthy way.”

Through the pre-shows before the showing of Allied Art’s opera series, attendees can get a glimpse of a live opera. Music education sophomore Olivia Smith feels people don’t see that enough.

“I think opera is a medium that doesn’t get a lot of exposure in mainstream media,” Smith said. “It’s cool to really experience that and the way it was supposed to be consumed. Students might find that they might have a passion for singing and performing opera by coming to see it.”

Steve Sanders, the associate professor of voice and co-director of OSU opera, believes the showing of the opera “Rusalka” is a wonderful opportunity for a small town like Stillwater.

“Opera is, as far as art forms, at the top,” Sanders said. “You have to be able to sing, act and dance. You need to work with a band of instruments. You are on lights. It has everything in it. Think about it.”

"Nixon in China" will be the final Allied Arts opera preview on March 9 at 7:30 p.m., concluding the four-part series.