The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Music in the Meadows gives students a voice

The Meadows School of the Arts and The Dallas Opera have formed the Emerging Artists Program in order to prepare SMU vocal students to perform throughout the community as representatives of the fresh, young faces of opera.

The program will present many opportunities for the students.

“It’s kind of like the next step towards a young artist program or an apprenticeship program, which as far as our age is concerned, it’s like the next step into a professional career,” said William Whitmire, 23, a graduate student.

Six graduate-level voice students were selected in auditions conducted last September: Phandulwazi Maseti, Edmundas Seilius, Theo Magongoma, Thandulwazi Ncube, William Whitmire and Abigayl Venman.

Students from the program performed the one-act opera, “Red Carnations” on Sunday in the Meadows Museum as part of the Music in the Meadows series.

The three performers included Whitmire, baritone from Carlsbad, N.M., Venman, soprano from Michigan; and Seilius, tenor from Vilnius, Lithuania.

“Red Carnations” by Robert Baksa was originally commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Metropolitan Opera Studio. The 35-minute opera about a young man and woman who meet briefly at a masked ball and then rendezvous later is also meant to send a message about the dangers of meeting strangers alone.

The students of the Emerging Artists Program will perform in The Dallas Opera’s 2006 Spring Touring Program, presenting programs to a variety of North Texas audiences.

“We are very excited about this new collaboration,” Nancy Cochran, director of the Meadows School division of music, said in a press release. “Our students have an opportunity to work with one of the finest opera companies in the world and gain professional performance experience that will be invaluable to them in their careers.”

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