WT Opera to Stage Unusual ‘Postcard from Morocco’

WT+Opera+to+Stage+Unusual+%E2%80%98Postcard+from+Morocco%E2%80%99

CANYON, Texas — An upcoming West Texas A&M University opera production may be set in an infernal realm, but it’s meant to show students—and audiences—that there’s nothing to fear in tackling difficult material.

WT Opera’s staging of “Postcard from Morocco” is set for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 and 11 and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 13 in Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall on WT’s Canyon campus.

“I did this as a student at Boston University, and it was the scariest thing I’d ever done,” said Sarah Beckham-Turner, assistant professor of music and WT Opera director.

It was frightening not because of its subject matter, but because the music was so daunting.

But the subject matter isn’t exactly breezy: Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s “A Child’s Garden of Verses,” “Morocco” depicts several waylaid travelers in a train station in the 1930s. Unbeknownst to them, the station is in some otherworldly realm, and they’re being picked off one by one by a puppet master who’s transforming them into mindless automatons.

Each passenger introduces themselves and the mysterious baggage they carry in a series of songs, prompting performer Brooklynn King to compare the one-act opera to the musical “Cats.”

“There’s no real plot until the last 20 minutes or so, and then it all goes crazy,” said King, a junior musical theatre major from Pearland. “This is probably the most unusual show people will ever see, and there are so many quirky, unforgettable characters.”

Part of the difficulty stems from the wide range of musical styles composer Dominick Argento pulls from—cabaret, operetta, jazz, even the grand opera tradition of Richard Wagner.

“I’ve never done a show like this,” said Taylor Lindley, a graduate student in vocal performance from Pampa. “I’m really excited to get out of my comfort zone and try something different.”

That’s the point, Beckham-Turner said.

“After I performed in it, I knew that I could do absolutely anything,” she said. “I haven’t been scared to learn any piece of music ever since.”

Tickets are $15 or free for WT students, faculty and staff with a Buff Gold card.

Call 806-651-2840.

In addition to King and Lindley, cast members include McKenna Cooper, a junior music therapy and vocal performance major from Midlothian; Francesco DiLello, a graduate student in vocal performance from Highland Mills, New York; Sarah Estes, a freshman music education and vocal performance major from Turpin, Oklahoma; R.J. Flud, a senior musical theatre major from Midland; Grace Gaertner, a senior music education major from Whitehouse; Oscar Hample, a junior musical theatre major from Wasilla, Alaska; Kelton Harbison, a freshman music education major from Canyon; Kyler Hilton, a freshman music education major from Amarillo; Erin Hinds, a junior music education and vocal performance major from Amarillo; Abigail Hite, a junior music education and instrumental performance major from Nashville; Holly Holcomb, a junior music therapy major from Amarillo; Joshua Moreno, a sophomore music education major from Canyon; Conner Nall, a senior music education major from Canyon; Sauncy Reddick, a junior music education major from Beaver, Oklahoma; Marlee Ramirez, a freshman music education and vocal performance major from Canyon; Chloe Ridolfo, a graduate student in vocal performance from Los Angeles; Zachary Todd, a senior musical theatre major from Highland Village; and Justin Williamson, a graduate student in vocal performance from Amarillo.

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $110 million.

close

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every week.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.