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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

New opera to reveal Greek tale

Joel McClure, NE Campus music major, stars as the lead in Prometheus, an original opera written by Edwardo Perez, assistant professor of music.  Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegan
Joel McClure, NE Campus music major, stars as the lead in Prometheus, an original opera written by Edwardo Perez, assistant professor of music. Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegan

By Tina Anders/reporter

Joel McClure, NE Campus music major, stars as the lead in Prometheus, an original opera written by Edwardo Perez, assistant professor of music.  Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegan
Joel McClure, NE Campus music major, stars as the lead in Prometheus, an original opera written by Edwardo Perez, assistant professor of music. Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegan

Greek mythology takes center stage with Prometheus, the new opera by Edwardo Perez, NE Campus assistant professor of music.

Prometheus will premiere Wednesday, April 11, and run through Saturday, April 14.

Based around various areas of Greek mythology, the opera tells the story of Prometheus, a god who defies Zeus (the king of the gods) by creating man and giving him the gift of fire.

The story continues with the conflict between Zeus and Prometheus, with help from Hercules, Poseidon, Hera and other mythological icons.

Prometheus goes through predictions and deceits as the battle of the gods continues.

Joel McClure, a TCC student and music major, plays Prometheus.

“ Prometheus is the man,” he said.

“ He is a titan that helped Zeus defeat Cronos [youngest and most terrible of the children of Uranus, whom he hated. He castrated his father and became ruler of the universe, but was later overthrown by his own son Zeus.],” he said.

“ He’s confident, cocky and strong, which leads to [the] conflict between Zeus and him,” the lead singer said.

Prometheus is typically considered one of the greatest friends of mankind and the liberator of all men. 

When Zeus tried to destroy the men of the Bronze Age, he gave information to his son Deucalion so he could stay alive and mankind could start over.

Chelsea Thut, a Keller High School student who plans to major in music, plays Hera.

Thut said there is a specific message to the story.

“ Even when bad things occur, good things can come out if it,” she said. “[When] Zeus puts all this bad stuff in the mixture, Hera puts in hope.”

Hera, queen of heaven, is known for her jealousy, and because of it, she tortures Zeus’s lovers and the children he has by them.

Imran Kissoon, a TCC music education major, plays Poseidon.

Kissoon said he auditioned for the opera because he has a fascination with Greek mythology.

“ Poseidon is the sea god. He is supposed to make Prometheus feel regretful,” he said. “I can relate to my character. If someone does something [wrong], make them regret it, but I also try to be encouraging.”

When Poseidon was born, his mother supposedly affirmed to her husband Cronos, who used to swallow his children at birth (for fear of their killing him and taking the throne), that she had given birth to a horse.

She presented him a colt to swallow instead of the child, just as later she offers him a wrapped stone in place of Zeus.

Carver Upton, another Keller High School student, plays the part of Man.
“ [Man] is innocent, naïve, confused and childlike,” he said. “He longs for knowledge and freedom.”

Preston Lee, a Carroll High School student, portrays Hercules.

“ Hercules is the embodiment of masculinity, and as such is the apotheosis of the Greek hero,” he said. “He is a man of great honor though he is not above trickery to win.”

Prometheus was said to have created man from clay, and the gods created the first woman, Pandora.

Thus, Pyrrha, the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora, is called the first mortal woman ever born.

The cast believes Prometheus will be a great show with many talented performers.

“ It will be a wonderful story of Greek gods, filled with beautiful voices,” Sarah Keylon, a TCC student who portrays one of Poseidon’s daughters, said.

Perez said the department decided to produce an opera each semester because of the success of his first opera, Beowulf, last spring.

“ The student interest peaked, [so] we decided to form the opera club, Opera Camerata,” he said.

“ We also thought it would be a good idea to open the auditions to local high school students for recruitment and for a larger pool of singers, which helps the overall quality of the production,” he said.

Perez said that this opera was composed with the students in mind.

“ My goal was to write an opera that is professional in quality, interesting in subject matter and yet practical in terms of production,” he said. “For Prometheus, I [also] decided to dual cast every role, so that more students would get the experience of singing a lead role.”

The year 2007 marks the 400th year anniversary of the oldest extant opera, Monteverdi’s Orfeo. Therefore, Opera Camerata presents Prometheus, which will be sung in Italian, as a celebration of opera’s four-century history.

The four performances, which begin at 8 p.m., are produced by Opera Camerata and will be in the NSTU Center Corner. No reservations are required; tickets are $5 general admission.

For more information, contact Perez at 817-515-6218 or edwardo.perez@tccd.edu.

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