TROY, Ala.—Troy University’s John M. Long School of Music, the Troy Elementary School and the First Baptist Church will present “Noah’s Flood,” an opera by Benjamin Britten Feb. 12 – 13.
The opera will be performed at Troy’s First Baptist Church at 7 p.m. each night and admission is free.
In the Troy University production, some 70 TES students will fill the roles of the animals, and several young string players will join the professional orchestral players in the orchestra.
“It is a unique opera in many regards,” said Dr. Michael Hix, assistant professor of voice and coordinator of Vocal and Choral Studies. “The libretto is drawn from a 15th century miracle play from Chester, England. The opera depicts Noah’s story of faith in a faithless world. While inspired by the biblical account from, the libretto takes several liberties to provide comic relief.”
Hix said Britten intended his work to be both a powerful and moving production as well as an educational experience for children. He carefully crafted parts for children to sing and play in the orchestra. One of Britten’s most striking innovations was the choice of venue. Britten composed this work to be performed in a church rather than a theater. The audience of the opera joins in as the chorus of the opera singing three hymns during the performance.
“This has been a tremendous learning experience for the students at Troy University. This is the first operatic performance with orchestra for all of the students involved. This work makes me feel very nostalgic, as it was the first opera in which I sang a leading role. Opera is such a rich and wonderful art form. It combines music, visual arts, dance, poetry, and theater into an experience which excite the sense and stirs the soul.
Performing in principal roles are Troy University students Tyler Ray, of Greenville, as Noah; Jessica Szerenski, of Montclaire, Vir., as Mrs. Noah; and as Noah’s children Wesley Jackson, of Huntsville, as Sem; Bryant Stokes, of Goshen, as Ham; Clay Paramore, of Ozark, as Jaffett; Laura Aaron, of Bay Minette, as Mrs. Sem; Noel Davis, of Eufaula, as Mrs. Ham; and Brittany Byrd, of Greenville, as Mrs. Jaffett. The “Voice of God” is played by TROY professor Dr. Catherine Allard.