NORTH MANCHESTER – Stewart Copeland – A prolific American composer of opera, ballet and film and founder of The Police – has composed an exciting opera that he describes as a “period, sci-fi, romantic black comedy.”
The Manchester University Music Department and the Manchester Symphony Orchestra offer the collegiate debut of The Invention of Morel at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 and 29 at the Honeywell Center in Wabash, Ind. General admission is $20; it is $10 for all students, but they must show identification when they pick up their tickets. https://www.honeywellcenter.org/morel
On Feb. 27, Copeland, the longtime drummer for The Police, will speak at the North Manchester campus at 12:30 p.m. in Cordier Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.
Copeland will also speak briefly at the opera’s opening night. He is not scheduled to attend the second night.
“Few things are more exciting for musicians than working directly with composers and world-class directors,” said Debra Lynn, musical director of the production. She is MU director of choral organizations and vocal studies. “We are so proud that Manchester students and young alumni have the opportunity to learn from two of the greats.”
The MU Music Department is bringing in both Copeland and stage director Kathleen Smith Belcher, from the New York Metropolitan Opera, as artists in residence. Belcher will arrive for stage rehearsals in the middle of February, and Copeland will Skype with performers until arriving on campus a few days before the debut performance of the opera.
“We hope to expand awareness about opera as a vibrant, growing musical genre that is fulfilling and enjoyable for all audiences,” Lynn said. She has arranged for a number of area high school music students to attend the Feb. 27 presentation.