If you would like to introduce your children (and yourself) to opera without spending four hours at a performance, the CSUB Opera Workshop is giving you the perfect opportunity Friday evening at the Doré Theatre.
The first half of the workshop's program is a performance of a full-length children's opera, "The Goose Girl," by contemporary composer Thomas Pasatieri. The opera is based on the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale of a princess forced to switch places with a brutal servant and tend geese while the servant poses as royalty.
"It's a really sweet telling of 'The Goose Girl,'" said director Peggy Sears. "This is really beautiful music, Puccini-esque, but more contemporary."
A small number of children from the audience will be picked to perform as the "geese" in a part of the opera, which runs 35 minutes.
"Parents can decide if they want to remain, if their children are old enough," Sears said.
Thomas Pasatieri studied with composer, conductor and teacher Nadia Boulanger and received the first doctorate from The Julliard School. He has composed several operas, and also art songs, choral works and instrumental works. He is a prolific arranger, orchestrating music for such film scores as "The Little Mermaid," "Road to Perdition," "Angels in America" and many others.
The rest of the evening is comprised of scenes from various operas and musical theater, including the famous quartet from Verdi's "Rigoletto," Rossini's "The Barber of Seville," Nicolai's "The Merry Wives of Windsor," and Porter's "Anything Goes." The selections will be sung in Italian and English, with supertitles where necessary.
Performers are CSUB students Alicia Bean, Kevin Calvin, Almalinda Duran, Elizabeth Gergian, Robert Hamilton, Katherine Kiouses, Adrianna Medel, Dan Musquez, Elizabeth Provencio, Marco Rodriguez, Sara Thomas, Jessica Trevino and Brent West.
"I'm just real proud of my group," Sears said. "Beautiful voices."
The program also features accompaniment by pianist Soo-Yoen Chang, with sets and lighting by Ray Finnell and costumes by Roger Upton.