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Skylark Opera Announces Fourth annual Summer Festival

Skylark Opera presents two all-time favorite music theater masterpieces - THE VAGABOND KING and ON THE TOWN - during its fourth annual Summer Festival. The productions will be staged in repertory from June 10-19 at E.M. Pearson Theatre, 312 N. Hamline Ave., St. Paul.

Although the settings couldn't be more different, each story takes place within a 24-hour period filled with excitement, passion and romance. Emerging director Kristin Kenning will direct Rudolf Friml's THE VAGABOND KING starring Skylark darlings Jeffrey Madison and Vicki Fingalson. The Minnesota Orchestra's Bob Neu will direct Leonard Bernstein's famous ode to New York, ON THE TOWN.

The Vagabond King opens the 2011 Summer Festival on June 10 at 8pm. In this rousing blend of chivalry, swordplay, comedy and political intrigue, the hero Villon (Jeffrey Madison) gets 24 hours to defeat the evil Duke of Burgundy, save the French monarchy and choose between the two women (Madison's real life wife, Vicki Fingalson as Katherine and Amanda Jenkins as Huguette) vying for his affections-or he will hang! The Vagabond King, with the unforgettable "Love for Sale," "Only a Rose" and "Love Me Tonight," is also on stage June 12 at 3pm and June 14 & 18 at 8pm.

In what may be the Twin Cities' first professional staging of On the Town, Leonard Bernstein's jazzy masterpiece, three young sailors set off on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City, looking for fun and finding some adventures along the way. Delightful songs ("New York, New York," "Lonely Town") and exuberant dance numbers, choreographed by critically-acclaimed Penelope Freeh, chronicle the antics of the sailors and the girls who catch their fancy. On the Town is on stage June 11, 15 & 17 at 8pm, and June 19 at 3pm.

Tickets are available at www.ticketworks.com or by phone at 612-343-3390. A festival package for both productions is $75 for adults and $40 for students, and single tickets are $43 with discounts available for seniors, students, children, first-time patrons and groups, and a limited number of front-row seats for $25.

Artistic Director Steve Stucki said, "The Vagabond King takes place in medieval France and On the Town is set in New York City during World War II. But with each story taking place within a 24-hour period, we loved pairing these two iconic music theater pieces together. We're thrilled to show audiences what a difference a day makes!"

Stucki has assembled stellar casts for the Summer Festival featuring celebrated artists from the Twin Cities and Upper Midwest. Joining Duluth residents husband-and-wife Jeffrey Madison and Vicki Fingalson (from last season's The Merry Widow) in The Vagabond King are Amanda Jenkins (also in The Merry Widow; and Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, Theater Latté Da; Minnesota Opera), and Jake Endres (Flying Foot Forum's Heaven; Minnesota Orchestra's Magic Flute).

The sailors on leave in On the Town are Paul Coate (Minnesota Orchestra's Magic Flute; Theater Latté Da's Evita, The Full Monty), Dieter Bierbrauer (Chanhassen Dinner Theaters, Guthrie Theater, Theater Latté Da, Children's Theatre Company) and Jon Hegge (Chanhassen Dinner Theaters, Guthrie Theater, Children's Theatre Company). Their romantic interests are Jennifer Eckes (Skylark Opera, Minnesota Opera, Minneapolis Musical Theater), Sarah Gibson (many past Skylark productions) and Sarah Lawrence (Duluth Playhouse, Madison Opera) in her first Skylark Opera production.

Skylark Opera
2011 FESTIVAL
June 10-19, 2011
E.M. Pearson Theatre
Concordia University
312 N. Hamline Ave., St. Paul
Tickets: $25-43
Box office: 612-343-3390 or www.ticketworks.com

June 10 @ 8pm - The Vagabond King
June 11 @ 8pm - On the Town
June 12 @ 3pm - The Vagabond King
June 14 @ 8pm - The Vagabond King
June 15 @ 8pm - On the Town
June 17 @ 8pm - On the Town
June 18 @ 8pm - The Vagabond King
June 19 @ 3pm - On the Town

THE VAGABOND KING
By Rudolf Friml
Directed by Kristin Kenning
Choreography by Linda Talcott Lee

In this rousing blend of romance, swordplay, comedy and political intrigue, the hero gets 24 hours to defeat the evil Duke of Burgundy, save the French monarchy and choose between the two women vying for his affections -- or he will hang!
Starring Jeffrey Madison, Vicki Fingalson, Amanda Jenkins and Jake Endres

ON THE TOWN
By Leonard Bernstein
Directed by Robert Neu
Choreography by Penelope Freeh

Three young sailors set off on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City, looking for fun and finding some adventures along the way. Delightful songs (New York, New York; Lonely Town) and exuberant dance numbers chronicle the antics of the sailors and the girls who catch their fancy.
Starring Dieter Bierbrauer, Jon Hegge, Sarah Gibson, Paul Coate, Jennifer Eckes and Sarah Lawrence

About Skylark Opera
Skylark Opera is celebrating its 32nd year offering high-artistic quality professional operetta, light opera and musical theater. All productions are in English and performed without artificial amplification. Skylark also performs free public concerts and offers educational programs introducing middle and high school students to the wonderful art of opera.

 



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