By Arthur Medrano | Staff Writer |
The Department of Music and Voice presented “The Seven Deadly Sins” Feb. 5 and Feb. 13 in the Performing Arts Recital Hall on the campus, as well as The Vine Theatre at the Bernardo Winery in San Diego.
Director Stacey Fraser, of the CSUSB Opera Theatre, presented Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s sung ballet, which struck a dramatic punch amongst the audience with their invoking stage presence.
The story shows us the toll the prohibition era took as it compromises the life of Anna, who holds an internal divide preventing her to accumulate wealth for her family.
Having been a part of the opera herself, Fraser provides a stunning performance followed by her opera theatre students and fellow colleague Faith Jensen-Ismay.
I attended the event held in The Vine Theatre, a small venue fitted with 48 seats, where the light fixtures aimed towards all corners, putting each actor in their own spotlight.
“Anna was somewhat desperate to get out of the small town in Mississippi to experience the rest of the world for a better chance at fortune,” said student Miguel Rivera.
As having watched the performance myself, it brought the emotions of every person in attendance and exhibits an astounding perspective of prohibition era history documented from our past.
“Anna was consumed by her lust in an attempt to do the right thing, but with all the wrong reasons. The men were her outside conscience in revealing to her the sins of the path she’s taken,” continued Rivera.
The stage was set, venue seating fit for a small group compared to the school’s recital hall, I was able to admire the intimacy between the actors as it seemed we were taken back in time watching the performance as it was intended to be when written.
Lights turned dim as Anna 1 and Anna 2 entered, played by Fraser and Jensen-Ismay. The atmosphere played with the venture they would take as luggage—dismay and bickering revealed the hard times faced for many when seeking a better life as America crumbled.
Financial crisis took its toll on the women while their travels across the nation, encountering the sins in each city, such as gluttony, envy and greed, would tear away in their hopes for a better life.
The San Diego-based dance company Mojalet Dance Collective and the l=Lotusflower New Music Project collaborated the same night to bring opera and dance as suspense and revelation do in this folklore.
The opera was a beautiful harmony between artists and music that was supported by live performances, featuring percussion and piano.
For those who admire ingenuity in the craft, theater is combining many art forms created for audiences to interpret the life, nature, and aesthetics from the writer to the script as found in “The Seven Deadly Sins.”
I hope to see many more performances by Fraser and the CSUSB Opera Theatre in support for the innovative reality I experienced from being in the audience—a retreat away from home and a captivating story we would leave for only our dreams to play through.