Mission Opera to perform ‘Susannah’ at Canyon High

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Theater news

News release 

Mission Opera is scheduled in June to present “Susannah” by Carlisle Floyd, an American musical drama in English, adapted from the Apocryphal tale of “Susannah and the Elders” and set in 1950s Bible Belt Appalachia.  

Performances are scheduled 7:30 p.m. June 9, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. June 10, at the Canyon High School Performing Arts Center. 

Floyd’s “Susannah” is one of the most-performed American operas of all time. Composed 50 years ago at the height of the McCarthy-era persecutions, it is a flawlessly effective melodrama focused on an innocent woman victimized by a narrow Evangelical community in rural Tennessee, read a statement released by Mission Opera. According to the Daily Telegraph, “It speaks straight to the heart through music of uninhibited tonal simplicity and Pucciniesque fervor.” 

Meagan Carlson and Jeannine Allen (Saturday matinee) star as Susannah, the beautiful Appalachian girl who innocently incites the lust of her church elders, leading to her denouncement as a sinner. Mission Opera veterans Gabriel Manro and Phil Meyer (Saturday matinee) star as the deleterious Rev. Olin Blitch, who cannot overcome his own desire for Susannah, and newcomer Arthur Miller stars as Susannah’s brother, Sam, who seeks revenge on the preacher.  

Ben Cross makes his Mission Opera debut, sharing the role of Little Bat McLean with veteran performer Dylan F. Thomas of Valley Opera & Performing Arts. Maestro Brian Stone returns to the helm of the orchestra with Music Director & Accompanist Lindsay Aldana. 

The production is directed by Mission Opera Artistic Director Joshua Wentz and features a multimedia design on the 46-inch LED screen, combining traditional theater with contemporary video design and virtual settings.  

“This show is a wonderful treat for anyone who doesn’t know about opera but loves musicals and theater,” the release said. “This hybrid show features folk music, dance, and an experience that one would more likely find on Broadway than in an opera house.”  

Four tiers of tickets are available ranging from $30 to $55 at www.missionopera.com. Student and senior tickets available for $20 with ID at the box office. The performance will last 2 hours and 5 minutes, which includes a 15-minute intermission. 

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