Spring Opera Offers Double Bill of Humor

By Scott Craig   |   January 31, 2023
Tenor Sibo Msibi (photo by Brad Elliott)

Westmont performs an ambitious operatic double bill of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury and Rossini’s The Silken Ladder Friday, January 27, and Sunday, January 29; both at 7 pm in Center Stage Theater. To purchase tickets, which cost $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors or military members, please visit the Center Stage box office at centerstagetheater.org. For more information, please contact the Westmont Music Department at (805) 565-6040 or music@westmont.edu.

Music Director Ruth Lin (photo by Brad Elliott)

The production, set on a large movie studio in the 1930s, will feature a black-and-white moving picture (Trial by Jury) and then a full color feature film (The Silken Ladder). 

“The idea is that a company is filming a double feature, spanning the gap between black-and-white, moving pictures and Technicolor movies,” says Christina Jensen, stage director. “Each show is set in its own time with Trial by Jury in Victorian England and The Silken Ladder in the early-mid 1800s. The stark visual difference between the two shows will be exciting.”

Music director Ruth Lin has been overseeing an opera boot camp for Westmont’s talented student musicians since early January. “They are a diverse group of musically gifted students pursuing a wide range of fields,” Lin says. “I look forward to sharing the music and humor of these operas with the community.”

The cast includes tenor Sibongakonkhe (Sibo) Msibi, a senior international student from Swaziland, who earned a fellowship to the Music Academy’s 75th anniversary Summer School and Festival in 2022.

Other cast members include Joy Sturges, Katie Ticas, Caleb Wilcox, Sean Ryan, Nathan Carlin, Micah Howard, Chandler Baker, Rachael Todd, Melissa Ellsworth, Alyssa Burdick, Jordyn Clinton, Erin Hardin, Jessica Berman, Sequoyah Scales, Leighton Bell, and Phoebe Tilburt.


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