Southern Illinois University Carbondale SCRC Text (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
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An Opera Director Pauses to Reflect
An Opera Director Pauses to Reflect
TitleAn Opera Director Pauses to Reflect
CreatorLawrence, Marjorie
DescriptionAutobiographical article describing Director Marjorie Lawrence's answers to the question of why she decided to "tackle the monumental task of staging Faust with nonprofessional singers and musicians, limited resources and meager facilities". Lawrence was directing the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Opera Workshop during this period. She reports that when she heard that Katherine Dunham would be available to train and choreograph for a performance, she narrowed the selection of pieces to perform down to two: Sampson and Dalila or Faust. The availability of individual performers helped her to make the final choice between the two.
CollectionSCRC Text (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
SubcollectionKatherine Dunham Papers
Original Publication SourceDaily Egyptian
Place WrittenCarbondale, IL
Subjects -titlesFaust
Subjects -peopleLawrence, Marjorie ; Horner, Gene ; Horner, Douglas ; Gounod, Charles ; Thomas, Joel ; Dunham, Katherine
Other topicsFaust, Sampson and Delilah
Collection ID/Box#FP20_7_F1DUNHAM_B103_F17_04
Rights StatementFor permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Phone: + 1 (618) 453-2516. Email:
TranscriptCarbondale. lll Volume. 46 Saturday, Fsbfuary 6, 1965 Number 8
An Opera Director Pauses to Reflect
By Macjorie Lawrence* Director. SIU Opera Workshop
About once a week someone invariably asks me why anyone in his right mind would tackle the monumental task of staging Faual with non-professional singers and musicians, limited resources and meager facilities. And there are times, 1 must admit, when 1 wonder myself, ['m sure the eame thought occurs to all my colleagues In this venture.
Usually those periods of self-doubt come on one of those days when nothing seems to go right-the weather's foul; the principal soprano calls up and reports, in , a voice so weak you can hardly hear her. that she has a cold and can't possibly sing; you arrive at the rehearsal hall only to find that another event has been scheduled In it for the same night you are to practice that all important scene; or tragedy befalls us in the case ot the death of Gene Horner, (Gene Horner had been double cast In the role of Faust with his brother, Douglas, however, he wag killed in an auto¬ mobile accident during the Christmas holidays.)
But then when i hear Gounod's beautiful melodies the waltzes, the Jewel song—being sung with such feeling by the young singers. 1 know I would not have it any other way.
In selecting this year's production we had several choices. Tentatively we were considering two short operas but then when it became known that we would have the outstanding services of Katharine Dunham to train the dancers and to assist with the choreography of our production, we narrowed the choice down to two- Faust and Samson et Dalila. From that point It was simply a matter of determining what voices would be available to us,
Samson et Dalila calls for a dramatic tenor and we had no one here this year within that range. At the same time, we had the good fortune to learn that Joel rhomas, who had appeared in our production of rtlda could return to the United States from Austria, where he has been studying and performing, to sing the role ICimtinuad on Pag. 6l
Original dimensions (cm.)43 x 29
Digital Object TypeImage
Digital File Format.tif
Digital File PublisherSpecial Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
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