RBROperaPress release from Red Bank Regional High School

The vocal majors of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Red Bank Regional High School are proud to present an operatic double feature on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21.

Presented in the auditorium of the RBR building at 101 Ridge Road in Little Silver, the program begins at 7 p.m. with Orfeo ed Euridice, by 18th century composer Christoph Willibald von Gluck. Performed in Italian with English subtitles, the opera also features a ballet by RBR VPA dance majors.

The second show, a modern comic adaptation of Seymour Barab’s 1956 opera A Game of Chance, will be presented in English. Both shows will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra.

Set to a libretto by Ranieri de’ Calzabigi, Orfeo ed Euridice is an opera based on the Orpheus tale in Greek mythology. It is a story of love lost and a mission to retrieve it barring the gates of Hades. A Game of Chance is a whimsical tale of three knitters granted their heart’s desires by an immortal representative of the fates — only to find that their wishes, in hindsight, were not what they promised to be.

The productions are the culmination of a year-long thematic unit for the VPA students that has included participation in the NJ All State Opera Festival and the National Association of Teachers of Singing’s Doris Lenz Festival of Singing; a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera, as well as guest artists who work professionally in classical voice.

“An Operatic performance is an ambitious project for high school singers, but our singers are up to the task as we perform a tremendous cross-section of musical genres and languages over our students’ high school careers,” comments director and RBR vocal teacher Kristopher Zook, adding that “RBR also offers an operatic repertoire that is accessible to young voices is a part of our curriculum.”

Tickets for either performance are $15 for adults ($10 for students and senior citizens), and are available at the door. For more information, call (732)842-8000, extension 227.