Opera Theatre’s 60s-themed twin billing set for Jan. 17-18

Campbell University Opera Theatre’s 10th annual production — a double bill featuring Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone and Arthur Sullivan and W. S. Gilbert’s Trial By Jury — will make its three-show run Jan. 17 and 18 at Scott Concert Hall. The Jan. 17 shows will run at 9:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., and the production will conclude on Jan. 18 at 8 p.m.

Both are one-act comic operas. The Telephone tells the story of Ben and Lucy as Ben prepares to propose to Lucy before going away on a trip. However, Lucy is occupied with a telephone call, and Ben is running out of time before he has to catch his train. In Trial By Jury, a breach-of-promise lawsuit comes to court after one of the characters has jilted his fiancé, leaving her for another woman. 

School groups will be in attendance for the first show, according to Director of Vocal Studies Sarah Thomas, but Campbell students, faculty and staff are welcome at all shows. The operetta is a family-friendly performance, Thomas says, suitable for all ages. 

As the marketing poster for the shows suggests, both The Telephone and Trial By Jury are set in the 1960s, despite the fact that the former show was written in the 50s and the latter in the late 1800s. 

“We’re setting both in the late 60s, and the sets and costumes — some of the lyrics and dialogue — will reflect that,” Thomas says. “So it’ll be fun to watch.” 

Thomas is directing both shows, and Judith Bruno is stage director. Students have been rehearsing for the coming week since August. 

The operetta has a cast of more than 20 students, most of whom are voice majors in the music department.