The McPherson Opera House will finally host its first full opera Friday.
The Wichita Grand Opera will perform Donizetti's comic opera, "Don Pasquale" at 7:30 p.m.
"I'm really excited," John Holecek, McPherson Opera House executive director, said. "If you like opera, you're going to attend, but if you don't know about opera ... you could not pick a better one to start on."
The two-act comedic production will be sung in English. The plot surrounds the character Don Pasquale and his Italian Garden Restaurant. When nephew and Karaoke performer Ernesto resists his uncle's attempts to fix him up with a girl, Pasquale decides to marry and have children of his own to cut Ernesto out of his will. Deception and havoc ensues when Pasquale is set up with Ernesto's girlfriend in disguise.
Parvan Bakardiev, Wichita Grand Opera CEO and president, has wanted to bring a performance to the McPherson Opera House since it reopened several years ago.
"The opera house in McPherson is a state treasure," he said. "It's testimony to the grandeur of Kansas throughout the years. It's good taste of Kansas to not only build it but to keep it."
Barardiev said facilities like the Opera House provide a particularly inviting environment that is important for opera productions.
"We like to be part of the ambiance and history, and hopefully we contribute to the music education," he said. "We're blessed to perform in an environment written for it."
Featured performers will be singers William Powers, Dustin Peterson, Sharin Apostolou, Michael Nansel and James McAdams. Voices like these are an example of why Barardiev said he believes the voice is the most important instrument.
"An opera has great significance, because it embraces symphony, singers, sets, all of the above," he said. "That's why opera is so powerful, because it touches the dimensions of the human soul."
Holecek believes strongly in the presence of an opera in McPherson. In fact, he already has booked the Wichita Grand Opera for a performance of "Noah's Food" next year, which will include three audience sing-along songs.
"I want people to be able to come down every year knowing they're going to see an opera in the McPherson Opera House," he said.
Tickets for Friday's show are $32, $28 and $24 for adults and $10 for students. They can be obtained by calling the Opera House at 620-241-1952 or by visiting www.mcphersonoperahouse.org.
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