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Otterbein Opera Theatre to Premiere New Work by Dennis and Sarah Davenport

March 30, 2016
Otterbein University

Is it an opera or a musical, or does it have elements of both?  Come see the premiere of First Encounters: Berthe Morisot Meets Edouard Manet to find out!  A lecture and performance will be held at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 3, in Riley Auditorium at the Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park St., Westerville. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the door or online at www.otterbein/opera.

The one-act production takes place in 1868 at the Louvre museum in Paris, on "copying day," when artists come to learn from the great masters by copying their works — and when critics come to admire mediocrity and disparage originality! In this milieu, proto-Impressionist Morisot meets bad boy Manet under the watchful eyes of Morisot's mother, Cornelie, and Manet's friend Fantin Latour.

This one-act, composed by Dennis Davenport during his sabbatical last year, to a libretto by his spouse, Sarah Davenport, features a cast of faculty (Carolyn Redman, Robert Bux), an alumnus (Andrew Szczerba) and students, It is directed by Robert Behrens, produced by Karen Eckenroth and features the composer and a combo in the orchestra pit. 

The production features projections of the works mentioned in the script, including Manet's "Olympia," a nude which viewers found shocking at the time, and will be prefaced by a lecture on the world of 19th century French art and artists by Janice Glowski, Otterbein's director of galleries and museums. 

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