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Comic opera takes center stage this weekend

November 6, 2003

Image of the publicity poster for "Albert Herring"The story of a young man who is crowned May King and breaks free from his mother's apron strings takes center stage this week as the School of Music and Dance performs Benjamin Britten's comic opera "Albert Herring." Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Studio Theatre of the Creative Arts building.

Based on a short story by Guy de Maupassant, "Albert Herring" takes place in 1900 in the fictional village of Loxford in Suffolk, England. Town luminary Lady Billows is determined to find a virtuous May Queen candidate, but when none of the town's girls is deemed worthy, she turns to the backwards but upright Albert Herring, the only son of local grocer Mrs. Herring. Herring enjoys being crowned May King, but comments about his mother's control over him. This is compounded by his first taste of alcohol (via lemonade spiked with rum) that leads him to shed his inhibitions, break free from his mother, and cause a town scandal. The results are hilarious but also cathartic.

SFSU's performance is directed by Alissa Deeter, assistant professor of music, with music direction by pianist and composer Steven Damonte. Eric Gjovaag conducts.

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) composed "Albert Herring" in 1947 as a comic companion piece to his 1946 tragedy "The Rape of Lucretia." Britten ranks as one of England's most prolific and acclaimed composers and as one of the dominant opera composers of the 20th century.

Admission to the opera is $10 for the general public and $5 for students and seniors. For tickets, call (415) 338-2467.

-- William Morris





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Last modified November 6, 2003, by the Office of Public Affairs