West Texas A&M Opera Workshop gears up for first live performance since spring 2020

Local News

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — For the first time since last spring, the West Texas A&M Opera Workshop will perform in front of a live audience.

“We like to be in front of a live audience. The prospect has been very exciting,” said Robert Hansen, West Texas A&M School of Music Director.

It’s been just under a year since the WT Opera Workshop has showed off their talents for a live in-person performance.

Next weekend they will be performing the “H.M.S. Pinafore.”

Both faculty and cast members said the journey from then until now has been quite difficult.

“Are we going to get to do this? Are we going to get to have an audience? Am I going to have a cast? Are they all going to get COVID? It’s just been constant living in we’ll see what happens,” said Sarah Beckham-Turner, West Texas A&M Assistant Professor of Voice & Opera.

“It’s been very strange. There’s been a lot of precautions that have been taken. The cast has been tested every single week. It’s definitely been a very strange process but the process itself has been very rewarding I think,” said Mitchell Hernandez, West Texas A&M Junior.

COVID-19 precautions will be followed such as all performers being masked and audiences being limited to 70 per performance.

They have also made some adjustments to the performance itself.

“I’ve staged the opera in such a way that they’re really not getting really close. We don’t have any big romantic kisses or anything like that like we would if this were normal times,” said Beckham-Turner.

Beckham-Turner describes H.M.S. Pinafore as fun and funny, which is something she and Hernandez said is needed during these times.

“We just need to have a good laugh and the students all are having a great time,” said Beckham-Turner.

“We definitely take the arts for granted. Right now we need all the arts way more now than we ever have before,” said Hernandez.

West Texas A&M has now added a Friday show next week as the Saturday show has already sold out.

For more information on times and tickets, click here.

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