Oberlin Opera Theater, which presented a frightful voodoo incarnation of Hänsel und Gretel in November 2013—returns with a springtime romp: Benjamin Britten's acclaimed chamber opera Albert Herring takes place with four performances March 12, 14, 15, and 16 at Hall Auditorium on the Oberlin campus.
Set in the English village of Loxford in 1947, this lively tale is filled with comic characters ranging from dully straitlaced to scandalously mischievous. Viewers will find themselves rooting for timid Albert, the most unlikely of heroes, whose secret longing for excitement turns the town upside down.
"It's about knowing you need to make a change in life, and getting that push to actually do it," says Director Jonathon Field, associate professor of opera theater at Oberlin. "Britten's operas always had an oppressed innocent. By the end, Albert sort of tells everybody off and breaks the chains that bind him."
Field selected Albert Herring in honor of the centennial anniversary of Britten's birth. Plus, he adds: "It is always nice to find an opera composer who writes comedies that are actually funny."
Sung in English with supertitles, Albert Herring is perfect for young viewers and newcomers to opera. It features a standout cast of Oberlin students and a deftly expressive score performed by the Oberlin Orchestra and led by guest conductor Christopher Larkin.
And now it's more affordable than ever: Adults who purchase in advance may receive one free ticket with the purchase of a $15 ticket. (Discount also applies to $10 admission for seniors, Oberlin staff, and alumni; and to $6 admission for Oberlin students.)
Plus: All students age 18 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.
Tickets may be purchased online, by calling 800-371-0178, or by visiting the Hall Auditorium Box Office weekdays from noon-5 p.m. Discounts apply only to advance purchases made by phone or in person, and all tickets are $3 more at the door.
Showtimes are 8 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, March 12 and 14-15; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 16.
Learn more at oberlin.edu/artsguide.
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