VocalEssence opens 42nd season with classic American operetta: John Philip Sousa’s El Capitan
Semi-staged production starring Bradley Greenwald will be directed by Vern Sutton
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (June 21, 2010) – The VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers will open the 2010-2011 season with a semi-staged rendition of John Philip Sousa’s comic opera El Capitan. Written in the style of Gilbert & Sullivan, Bradley Greenwald stars in this classic piece of American musical theater filled with tangled tales of love and politics. Christina Baldwin, Vern Sutton, Janis Hardy, and Dan Dressen are among the stellar supporting cast. Vern Sutton will direct the semi-staged production; Philip Brunelle conducts.
El Capitan will be presented on Friday, October 8 (8 pm) and Saturday, October 9, 2010 (8 pm) at Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis. Prior to the Saturday performance Director Vern Sutton will join Minnesota Public Radio’s John Birge for a Concert Conversation at 7 pm. Tickets ($10-$40, service charges apply), are available by calling 612-371-5656 or by visiting www.vocalessence.org. Student and group discounts are available.
To add to the celebration, collegiate marching bands will perform Sousa marches outside Ted Mann from 7:15-7:45 pm as patrons arrive. On Friday, October 8 the St. Thomas University Marching Band (Matthew George, director) will appear; on Saturday, October 9 the University of Minnesota Marching Band (Jerry Luckhardt, director) will perform.
Dubbed “The March King,” John Philip Sousa is best known for his military and patriotic marches, such as “Stars and Stripes Forever.” A man of many talents — a violinist, a conductor and a novelist — he was also successful as a composer of comic opera including his most popular effort, El Capitan.
El Capitan is a tongue-in-cheek look at love and war set in Peru. Fearing assassination by rebel forces, the Peruvian viceroy Don Medigua executes their leader, El Capitan, and then impersonates him. Meanwhile the rebels capture Lord Chamberlain Pozzo, thinking they have captured the viceroy. Hearing that Don Medigua has been captured, his wife and daughter Isabel go in search of him. Estrelda, the daughter of Don Medigua’s political rival Cazarro, hears tales of El Capitan’s bravery and falls in love with him, not realizing that he is really Don Medigua in disguise.
As the Spaniards attack, the false El Capitan leads the rebels in circles until they are too tired to fight and the rebellion is finally put down. Don Medigua is reunited with his wife and both Estrelda and Isabel fall in love with eligible young men. Sousa’s swashbuckling score adds great charm to all of this confusion and comedy.
For press information and photographs related to El
Capitan, please contact Katryn Conlin (612-547-1457,
firstname.lastname@example.org). High-resolution photographs suitable for press use
are available for download at www.vocalessence.org/ media/images.
El Capitan Cast List
Bradley Greenwald – El Capitan
Lauren Asheim – IsabelChristina Baldwin – Estrelda
Deric Craig – Cazarro
Dan Dressen – Verrada
Janis Hardy – Princess
James Ramlet – Scaramba
Vern Sutton – Pozzo
VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers with
Philip Brunelle, conductor
Semi-staged and directed by Vern Sutton