College of Charleston Opera Workshop Showcase Explores ‘What If’

November 10, 2022

Life is made up of many moments and decisions that lead to the next. But how would things have played out if we made a different choice, gone in a different direction, decided to pursue another opportunity in a different city? College of Charleston Opera explores the power choices can have in shaping our lives with the showcase “What If,” featuring popular selections from opera and music theater that represent the student-performers’ hard work and perseverance.

Featuring works by Richard Strauss, Gioachino Rossini, Georges Bizet, and Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, among others, “What If” gives voice students an opportunity to put what they’ve learned into practice. “What If” is a part of an opera workshop course that gets these students ready for future productions.

“This yearly scenes project prepares them for the larger productions that we do in the Sottile Theatre and in Lowcountry schools for Children’s Opera,” says Saundra DeAthos-Meers, director of opera and assistant professor of voice. “They are able to practice walking, singing and acting at the same time before they have to do it on a larger scale.”

With a mixture of opera and music theater, “What If” connects the personal narratives of the student-performers to the choices and actions of characters from shows such as Carousel and Don Giovanni. A total of 16 CofC students will perform large ensemble numbers, trios and duets.

“’What If’ challenges both the audience and performers to think how the butterfly effect can influence our lives,” says DeAthos-Meers. “What if a different choice had been made? ‘What If’ gives the College’s voice students an opportunity to answer this question through their lived experiences and music.”

Performances will take place at the Chapel Theatre at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, and at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. Tickets, which can be purchased online through the George Street Box Office, are $10 for CofC students; $15 for faculty and staff; and $20 for adults.