"What's Opera, Doc?" brings lively take on the grandest art form to Fairfield University

"What's Opera, Doc?" brings lively take on the grandest art form to Fairfield University

Cartoon gems, historic films, sparkling live performance and audience participation bring the world of opera to life in "What's Opera, Doc?" on Sunday, April 3, at 1 and 3 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Suitable for all grade levels, the program is part of the Lincoln Center's Reel-to-Real Series.

Image: Bugs Bunny This spirited show weaves live performance with clips from an eclectic set of vintage films, including footage of dame joan sutherland singing and discussing her rise to fame to bugs bunny spoofing the masters in the classic "rabbit of seville."

Pianist/composer Jed Distler plays conductor Leopold Stokowski of "Fantasia" fame and Elmer Fudd, while serving as a kind of tour-guide-in-tails for the afternoon.

Metropolitan Opera soprano Emily Pulley and tenor Scott Ailing will join the fun, singing both soaring arias and humorous songs and telling children about their roads to the stage.

Pulley's radiant voice and riveting performances have won acclaim around the world. She has appeared in major roles with the Metropolitan Opera, including Marguerite in "Faust," Musetta in "La Boheme," and Nedda in "Pagliacci."

"Pulley's bright, perceptively shaded tone and sensitive, responsive acting make her a refreshing heroine, always playing the role rather than the star turn," wrote a reviewer in Opera News.

Ailing, who made his Lincoln Center debut with "What's Opera, Doc?" is the program's co-writer and co-director. A featured soloist who has sung sacred works at The Vatican, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, and The Westerkerk Cathedral in Amsterdam, he is also an award-winning cabaret piano bar singer known for his natural voice and witty personality.

Ailing has performed with Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Blossom Dearie, Joyce Randolph and Sen. Hillary Clinton, and he is a regular Saturday night performer at Danny's Broadway Piano Bar in New York.

Now in its ninth season, the Reel-to-Real Series brings the worlds of jazz, tap dancing, ballet and opera to young audiences. Alina Bloomgarden, the program's founder, said accessibility is key to helping kids enjoy the classic arts.

"Reel-to-Real gives kids a sense of history," she said, "a sense of these singular, heroic artists who rose above obstacles in delightful ways."

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for children. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit www.quickcenter.com.

Posted On: 03-09-2005 10:03 AM

Volume: 37 Number: 190