By Jacie Sellars, Staff Writer
October 25, 2023
The Ouachita Department of Music will present “Amelia Goes to the Ball” on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 5 at 2:30 p.m. in McBeth Recital Hall. “Amelia Goes to the Ball” is a 20th century comic opera that centers around chaotic events involving a woman named Amelia. Tickets are available through the Box Office and are free to Ouachita students.
Associate Professor of Music Dr. Candice Aipperspach is directing and staging the show. According to Aipperspach, the plot of “Amelia Goes to the Ball” definitely matches the show’s title. “This opera recounts the comedic events of the socialite Amelia as she overcomes obstacles while trying to attend the first ball of the social season,” Aipperspach said. However, drama unfolds in a comedic and ridiculous fashion as Amelia’s personal decisions stand in the way of the ball. “She is more focused on going to the ball than the conflict between her lover and her husband,” Aipperspach said.
Junior Kieran Malmer will be playing the title role of Amelia. Malmer has enjoyed playing such a driven and spirited character. “I would describe Amelia as very stubborn,” Malmer said. “She has major tunnel vision, and she will do what she must to get to the ball.”
Amelia’s desire to attend the ball extends beyond any concerns and conflicts, which creates an interesting dynamic that drives the plot of the show. “My favorite thing about portraying this character is the stark contrast between her confident, manipulative front and her desperation slipping through,” Malmer said.
Audiences can expect to enjoy a combination of drama and humor throughout “Amelia Goes to the Ball.” Malmer particularly enjoys how the show’s operatic music accentuates dramatic moments.
“My favorite moment in the show is when an argument between Amelia, her husband and her lover comes to a climax,” Malmer said. ”We break into a trio that diffuses the tension in a jarring, farcical spectacle.”
Aipperspach believes that the humor is one of the elements that makes this production enjoyable for all audiences. “I think that the comedy in this show lends itself to people who are not used to opera,” Aipperspach said. “Some operas have humor that is a bit dated, but this humor is very overt, and the audience won’t miss it.”
For those who have never attended an opera, “Amelia Goes to the Ball” is a good place to start. The opera is in English, making it easily understood by audiences. “This show was written with the English language in mind, which makes it very accessible,” Aipperspach said.
Audience members can also expect a show that is dramatic without an overly-complicated plot. “It’s an insane show, but it’s still really easy to follow,” Aipperspach said. “You just have to understand that this woman really wants to go to this dance, and she never stops to think about her priorities.”
Enjoyers of beautiful music and an exciting story won’t want to miss “Amelia Goes to the Ball.”