SBC singers boost local opera production

| March 26, 2013

Marcia Thom (standing) offers last-minute advice to her choir before the tech rehearsal last Thursday.

Last weekend, the Sweet Briar Chamber Choir performed with Lynchburg’s Opera on the James in a production of “The Magic Flute” at the Academy of Fine Arts. The show starred 68 Sweet Briar students, as well as assistant professor of arts management and mezzo-soprano Ursula Kuhar as the 2nd Lady.

“I really enjoyed being part of an opera,” Adrianna La Candia ’14 said. “It was my first time singing backstage and with an orchestra. … It was great to see it all come together after all those late nights.”

Directed by voice instructor Marcia Thom, the choir had been rehearsing since December, but didn’t get to practice the final touches until just days before the premiere on Friday, March 22. Last Monday, they sang with the Hampden-Sydney College choir, which also participated in the opera. Conductor Douglas Kinney Frost came to Sweet Briar Thursday to prepare his singers for the big event.

“He was so inspiring and helpful, and the way he portrayed musical interpretations was really funny,” said first-year Charlotte von Claparede, who double-majors in music and business.

“My favorite part of the whole experience was spending so much quality time with great people, and really getting to know them through music.”

In the days leading up to the performances, the singers spent several evenings together, she added, which allowed plenty of time for bonding.

“It’s definitely been one of the musical highlights of my life.”

To learn more about Opera on the James, visit

Category: Music