"Pioneers of American Musical Theatre: Music from the Lost Operettas of John Philip Sousa"
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 7:30 P.M.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG THEATRE
PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
Prelude carillon concert from 6:50–7:20 p.m.
featuring University Carillonneur
Professor Julianne Vanden Wyngaard
Performance followed by reception
Mark your calendars for a fascinating and wondrous glimpse into a forgotten era of American music. Grand Valley State University faculty members and students proudly present selections from two operettas by John Philip Sousa that have been all but lost to modern audiences: The Charlatan and The Bride Elect.
As the composer of 135 still wildly popular marches, John Philip Sousa, the legendary director of the U.S. Marine Band, will forever be known as "The March King."
Yet, Sousa, like most American concertgoers of the day, was equally fascinated with the delightful operetta creations of Gilbert and Sullivan. These comic masterpieces crossed the Atlantic almost as soon as they were written, with Sousa often conducting and arranging these musical gems for American audiences.
Sousa composed 15 such works himself, including El Capitan. In one of the great misfortunes of American theatre, Sousa's operettas have been mostly lost to fire and neglect. It is often overlooked today that Sousa's appointment to conduct the U.S. Marine Band was directly tied to his success in operetta.
Full of spirited march melodies and an unmistakable aura of optimism perfect for its time, this is music to be dusted off and treasured once again.
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