ASU's Lyric Opera Theatre to dazzle with preview of the 2016-17 MainStage season

Students in the Lyric Opera Theatre to perform songs from "H.M.S. Pinafore", "Guys and Dolls", "The Magic Flute" and "Shrek the Musical" on Sept. 28th at the Musical Instrument Museum

English sailors, New York gangsters, Ancient Egyptians and Fairy Tale creatures all walk into a museum...and bring the audience to their feet using their musical abilities. It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but in reality it's the beginning of another great MainStage season for ASU's Lyric Opera Theatre.

Students in the program will perform songs from the scheduled musicals and operas of the 2016-17 LOT season; H.M.S. Pinafore, Guys and Dolls, The Magic Flute and Shrek the Musical on Sept. 28 at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Lane Northcutt, a second-year graduate student working on his Master's in musical theatre/opera performance, will be performing songs from three of the four shows. He believes that this is a great opportunity to showcase what ASU has in store this year.

"I think that the season sampler is a fantastic idea," said Northcutt. "It is going to allow people from around the valley to get a glimpse into the upcoming shows and to hear students from our program. Not only will they hear selections from the show they are familiar with, but hopefully they will learn about new shows in our season they would not have heard about otherwise."

Music theater junior Sara Sanderson will be performing a duet with Northcutt of the song "I'll Know" from "Guys and Dolls." She also feels that this Season Sampler will give people the chance to be introduced to ASU's talented performers.

"It was sort of a last-minute decision they made to add this duet to the preview, so I'm very excited that I get to be a part of it," said Sanderson. "I think the Musical Theatre Preview is a really great way to get people interested in Lyric Opera Theatre; the more we can perform and show people what we have to offer the better!"

Voice performance junior Lauren Berman, will be performing the song "O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn" (or "Oh, tremble not, my beloved son") from "The Magic Flute." She's hoping that the artistic creativity ever-present in the Valley will find its way to ASU.

"I am so thrilled that the LOT program is so widely promoting its season within the community," said Berman. "There's such a strong interest in the arts throughout the Valley, and I think it's a shame that attendance for operas at ASU recently has not been great. I hope that by reaching out into the fantastic arts scene surrounding us, we will be able to expose new audiences to the great performances that are happening at ASU."

Brian DeMaris, who is the artistic director of ASU's Opera and Musical Theatre and Lyric Opera Theatre, says he is looking forward to the first time collaboration between the Lyric Opera Theatre and the MIM.

"While the ASU School of Music has long held this series at the MIM, this will be the first time in recent years that Lyric Opera Theatre will be performing on the series," said DeMaris. "We are excited to show excerpts from our 16-17 main-stage season of operas and musicals."

DeMaris is also looking forward to forthcoming opportunities for ASU's musical theatre programs to reach out to the community and expand their influence.

"We are also doing two new works readings this year at ASU Kerr Cultural Center, and I will be talking briefly about the two pieces we'll be doing on this season preview concert at the MIM," said DeMaris. "LOT has a goal of doing more performing off campus and engaging meaningfully with audiences throughout the Phoenix metropolitan region."

According to DeMaris, the performance at the MIM is the first of several events the LOT will have off-campus this year.

"We will also be performing in April at the Scottsdale Center, and many of our student lab productions will specifically be utilizing off-campus venues this year," said DeMaris. "This is in addition to our doing at least eight special performances for various high schools and elementary schools throughout the valley as part of our Lyric Opera Theatre Outreach Program, generously supported by Harold and Doreen Saferstein."

The Musical Theatre Season Sampler will be held Wed. Sept. 28, at 10:30 a.m. at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. The concert is free with the purchase of a museum ticket or $7 for the concert only.


Reach the reporter at gwrober2@asu.edu or follow @gmoney_roberts on Twitter.

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