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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • College and symphony bring opera to the Opera House

  • “The McPherson Opera House is one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever had the pleasure of presenting a performance in, and I'd like to invite everyone to come and enjoy an opera in the Opera House.”
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  • "The McPherson Opera House is one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever had the pleasure of presenting a performance in, and I'd like to invite everyone to come and enjoy an opera in the Opera House."
    To say Ken Hakoda is excited to be bringing the opera "The Elixir of Love" to the McPherson Opera House on Sunday would be an understatement. The conductor for the Salina Symphony and music director for Kansas Wesleyan University, Hakoda said the opera will present a story full of laughs and romance.
    "It's an everyday story about young people's love," Hakoda said. "The setting is updated to 1960s postwar Europe, so it'll be easier to relate to, and it's an English translation as well."
    Written by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti and first performed in 1832, the two act "The Elixir of Love" ― original title "L'elisir d'amore" in Italian ― has been a popular opera since its first appearance.
    The plot follows a love triangle involving a lovable bumpkin, a dashing sergeant, the bewitching town flirt and a certain love potion that looks to complicate matters.
    "It's very funny," Hakoda said. "It's laughs all the way. Donizetti is a very famous and popular composer from the romantic period. 'The Elixir of Love' is probably his most famous opera. It's short and catchy."
    The opera will be performed as a collaboration between Kansas Wesleyan University and the Salina Symphony, a partnership Hakoda said was unique but very worthy.
    "For me, opera is the ultimate art form, and you've got everything this collaboration provides to make this product," Hakoda said. "The cast is all very well-trained, and for a small college like us they are very, very impressive."
    Hakoda said people shouldn't be intimidated in the slightest by the fact this is an opera.
    "Just come up here and see the show," Hakoda said. "Come in jeans. Think of it as being like going to the movies. I'd like people to come and experience the opera, be casual, be themselves and just enjoy the comedy."
    Hakoda said that, while operas were an entertainment form akin to films before the advent of the motion picture camera, there was a magic to a live performance like an opera that films couldn't capture.
    "I think live entertainment gives you a connection to the performers," Hakoda said. "It might sound better on a recording, but when performed live we get to connect with the performers, get to see the heat and sweat onstage. It isn't perfect, and that's also one of the fun things with live performance."
    "The Elixir of Love" will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday at the McPherson Opera House. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the McPherson Opera House at 620-241-1952, visit its website at www.mcphersonoperahouse.org or stop by the box office at 219 S. Main St.
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