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May 7, 2010

Taiwanese national theatre invites ULM director to guest host summer productions

The National Theatre of Taiwan in Tapei recently invited Dr. Mark R. Clark, director of opera and musical theatre at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, to guest direct two operas this summer.

Clark departs for a five-week rehearsal period in June, to be followed by performances of Too Many Sopranos by American composer Edwin Penhorwood, and Prima la Musica, Poi le Parole by Antonio Salieri, a contemporary of Mozart. The production team will include accomplished set and costume designers from the National Theatre in Taiwan.

Too Many Sopranos is a comic opera composed in 1997. Since then, professional opera companies and universities have produced it more than 40 times, including Southeast Louisiana University in Hammond in 2007.

Clark directed one of the first performances of the work in New York, and was recommended for the Taiwan production by the composer.

“This will be an interesting experience,” observed Clark. “Too Many Sopranos will be sung in English, using Chinese supratitles (translations projected over the singers).”

Clark added that the Salieri opera will be sung in Italian, also with Chinese titles, and a translator-assistant director will assist with managing the stage action.

“Everyone has been so accommodating from the National Theatre. It is clear that they want this production to be done on a very high level,” said Clark.

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