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Muddy River Opera: The Tender Land

  • May 24, 2019
  • 7:00 PM
  • June 16, 2019
  • 12:00 PM
  • Mary Ellen Orr Auditorium, JWCC


  • ($20 plus $1 convenience fee)
  • ($20 plus $1 convenience fee)

Registration is now closed; however, TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR FOR $20 CASH OR CHECK. Thank you, Arts Quincy. 

Set in America’s Midwest during the Great Depression, Muddy River Opera Company presents The Tender Land written by Aaron Copland and Horace Everett on Friday, June 14 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, June 16 at 3 pm at Mary Ellen Orr Auditorium on the John Wood Community College campus in Quincy. An opera insight talk will begin thirty minutes before curtain. Tickets are $20 at the door or at Quincy HyVee stores or $21 on this website.

Laurie faces a dilemma now that her high school graduation is at hand. As the eldest daughter, does she stay with the Moss family farm or set out to find her place in the world? Her restlessness is fueled by the arrival of two mysterious drifters, Top and Martin, who are hired to help with the harvest. Laurie finds herself fascinated with their tales of travel and soon finds herself in love.

Copland’s lush score is classic Americana and tells the simple and beautiful story of this young woman who is coming of age in the heartland. Written between 1952 and 1954, the piece was originally intended for television but was adapted for the stage. When the opera debuted in 1954 it was poorly received. It was thought to be too intimate and better suited for a small space. Revisions were made by the writers which expanded the opera to help it fill a large operatic stage and it became a beloved show.

The Tender Land company consists of local and regional singers, musicians and production personnel hailing from Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska.

Returning to the Muddy River Opera Company stage for the third year is Western Illinois University Assistant Professor of Voice, Penelope Shumate singing the lead role of Laurie. Tenor Stephen Carroll, new to MROC performs the role of Martin. Mark Gilgallon is Grandpa Moss, Lisa Blake as Ma Moss and Emily Dozier as Beth Moss. Steven Soebbing sings the role of Top with Matthew Scheuermann and Amy Stollberg as Mr. and Mrs. Splinters. David Czechut and Gretchen Wolfmeyer sing the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Jenks. A chorus will be directed by Paul Shelor. David Galant returns for his fourth year as orchestra conductor and Bill Shomos is the stage director.

More information is available by emailing muddy.river.opera@gmail.com or by visiting muddyriveropera.org. Be sure to like the group on Facebook.

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