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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » FOLLOWING A SUCCESSFUL LAST SEASON, THE UNIVERSITY SINGERS KICK OFF NEW SEASON ON A HIGH!

FOLLOWING A SUCCESSFUL LAST SEASON, THE UNIVERSITY SINGERS KICK OFF NEW SEASON ON A HIGH!

BY RICHARD JOHNSON—

 University Singers in a scene from the opera 1865.—

Following the huge success of their performance season last year, the University Singers are preparing for the 2017 series which starts this weekend and runs to June 26.

“It was definitely a lot of pressure preparing for this year following 1865 last year,” Halliburton, head of the choral group, told the Jamaica Observer.

“There were so many suggestions coming to us from every possible direction. We just had to sit and analyse them all. In the end we decided to do what the University Singers is best at… we are going back to our foundation,” he continued.

Last year, the University Singers staged the Franklin Halliburton-penned opera1865, which not only earned rave reviews, but also nabbed a staggering nine Actor Boy Awards — the local awards for excellence in Jamaican theatre. This success has had a profound impact on preparations for the month-long season.

 He explained what his group of 40 vocalists does best is choral theater.

“We are going back to our regular format. We have a young cast and, therefore, it is great that we have a tried, tested and proven format which works for us and forms a great foundation upon which we can rebuild. The show is split into halves. The first half is comprised of the classics. During this segment, we will be presenting arias from some popular operas. This will include Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen, which will be delivered by soprano Carolyn Reid-Cameron and the Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s Turandot, which will be sung by tenor Roy Thompson. The second half will feature a revival suite put together by Andre Bernard,” said Halliburton.

The University Singers

The University Singers

He further stated that it is the University Singers which has given the world choral theater — a technique of musical delivery which employs movement and choreography.

“It is a sufficiently exciting program that we will be presenting over the four weekends that we will be on stage at the Philip Sherlock Center for the Creative Arts at the UWI . We are continuing the University Singers tradition of opening up the arrangement of segments of the program to our younger members. This is something that was extended by me as well as others including Dr Kathy Brown, Ewan Simpson and others, and this year it is Andre Bernard’s turn. Kevin Moore has complemented the works with genre-appropriate choreography. There is something for everyone,” Halliburton added.

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