As Chautauqua reaches the end of Week Seven, the Voice Program is coming to an end. On June 26, voice students debuted with a Sing-In. At noon Thursday, August 9, in McKnight Hall, they will conclude with a Sing-Out.
Over the last seven weeks, voice students have performed in numerous recitals and have produced the opera L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love), the opera Carmen and the operetta The Student Prince, which will have its final run Thursday, August 9.
Through all of this, Marlena Malas, voice chair, said, “They learn.”
“This is all about education and learning how to be on a stage … learning how to be a singing actor, and not just make beautiful sounds, but to communicate the texts and the character,” Malas said. “(These performances) are all major learning experience(s).”
Malas said she sees the results of these learning experiences: growth in the students.
“It’s been a fantastic summer. These young people have grown so much. It’s always very gratifying to me, and I’m so grateful for the administration that keeps allowing me to do what I do with these young people,” Malas said. “… I hear and see the results of their comfort, the growth emotionally as well vocally and the growth as human beings with each other.”
Education is what the Voice Program is about, Malas said. The Voice Program is not an opera company, but she said the program tries, “to give (students) as (many) ways to sing all kinds of music.”
Malas said voice students can select the songs they perform at the Sing-Out and said the performance is “hysterical.”
One year, a group of baritones decided to sing an aria from Il Barbiere di Siviglia called “Largo al factotum,” Malas said.
“Each one took a line, and then, they all sang the high notes at the end of the thing,” Malas said. “It’s hysterical.”