The award-winning Meadows Opera Theatre opens the 2015 opera season with Susannah, running Thursday, Feb. 5 through Sunday, Feb. 8, in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.
Written by Carlisle Floyd in 1955, Susannah is based loosely on the Apocryphal tale of Susannah and the Elders. Set in rural Tennessee where the fate of the young town beauty hangs, Susannah explores the plague of religious fundamentalism, intolerance, hypocrisy and prejudice. Weaving together folk tunes, country hymns and haunting melodies, Floyd’s American masterpiece tells the timeless tale of desire, lust, seduction and revenge.
The Meadows production is directed by Hank Hammett. American lyric baritone Hammett is an award-winning performer, director, teacher and coach. As an acting coach for singers, Hammett has worked for Broadway and Off-Broadway, in television and film, and the world’s most prestigious opera houses, ranging from The Metropolitan Opera to the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. Currently, Hammett serves as Director of Opera, Senior Lecturer and Chair of Ensemble Department in Meadows School of the Arts.
Under the baton of Maestro Paul Phillips, this main stage production is accompanied by the Meadows Symphony Orchestra. Phillips has served since 1996 as music director and conductor of the Meadows School of the Arts. A native of Dallas, Phillips completed his undergraduate studies at SMU where he studied with James Rives Jones.
Tickets for faculty, staff and students are $7 and can be purchased online. For more information, call 214-768-2787. A full cast list can be found below.
Libretto and Music by Carlisle Floyd
Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center, SMU
- Producer/Director – Hank Hammett
- Conductor – Paul Phillips
- Choreographer – Danny Buraczeski
- Scenic Designer – Sarah B. Brown (MFA ’15)
- Costume Designer – Amanda Capshaw (MFA ’15)
- Lighting Designer – Luther Frank (MFA ’15)
- Vocal Coach/Répétiteur – Jason Smith
- Supertitles – Opera Supertitles
- Stage Manner – Suzanne Lavender
(in order of vocal appearance)
- Fiddler – Jiah Kyun
- Mrs. Gleaton – Julie Martinez* and Dallas Caulkins**
- Mrs. Ott – Laura Gastinel* and JinYong Kwon**
- Mrs. Hayes – Courtney Stancil* and Kristen Meyers**
- Mrs. McLean – Moretta Irchirl* and Arielle Collier**
- Elder McLean – Frank Rosamond
- Olin Blitch, an evangelist – Raul Escalona* and Langelihle Mngxati**
- Elder Hayes – Benjamin Roberts
- Elder Ott – James Resch
- Elder Gleaton – Quintin Coleman
- Susannah Polk – Alissa Roca* and Audra Methvin**
- Little Bat McLean – Jordan Hammons
- Sam Polk – Jeawood Lee* and Myles Pinder**
- First Man – Dennis Wees
- Second Man – Charles Karanja
- Townsfolk of New Hope Valley – Jordan Beranek, Regina Joi Branford, Laura Bumgarner, Dallas Caulkins, Arielle Collier, Shannon Conboy, Gabrielle Ferrari, Laura Gastinel, Maggie Harper, Moretta Irchirl, Jenilee Joan, Maya Jones, Charles Karanja, JinYoung Kwon, Vinnie Mahal, Julie Martinez, Kristen Meyers, Brandon Moore, Lauren Pinzás, Kelly Silverthorn, Courtney Stancil, Christian Thrailkill, Kiara Wade, Dennis Wees, Alison Wheaton
* Thursday and Saturday
** Friday and Sunday
All photograph in this article were taken by Kim Leeson.