Welcome to Arkansas State University!

News Article

Opera Students to Collaborate with Church Choirs and Magnet School Children to Present ‘Noye’s Fludde’


JONESBORO -- ASU Opera, the Youth and Children’s Choirs of FUMC Jonesboro and students of the Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School will collaborate to present “Noye’s Fludde” by Benjamin Britten. Performances will be on Friday and Saturday, April 19-20, at 7 p.m. in Wesley Hall of First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro and will be free and open to the public. Donations are welcome and checks can be made payable to ASU Foundation-Opera.

As Jane Erb stated in her article on “Noye’s Fludde,” “Britten decided to write a work for school children to sing and play and act in a “big building, … preferably a church – but not a theatre.” He chose to base his church parable on a Chester Miracle play, a form of medieval drama based on church liturgy with the addition of dialogue and dramatic action, originally performed in Latin. Miracle plays, which lasted from sunrise to sunset, were performed by one of the Guilds on a cart known as a pageant, which moved about the town.  The plays were given in churchyards and marketplaces on church festival days. The Chester Miracle Plays, so named because of the city in which they were performed, dated from 1475 to 1500. Britten frequently based his work on the conflict between a simple man and corrupt society and this theme is dramatically present in “Noye's Fludde,” where “the innocent children and animals present a strong contrast to the wickedness of the society God destroys in the flood.”

Members of the crew include: Marika Kyriakos and Sean Pollock, co-directors, Neale Bartee-orchestral conductor, Elaine Bartee, VPA musical director, Marc Sexton, general assistant, Sherri Cothern, FUMC handbells director, Crystal Aronson, ASU graduate assistant, Jeff Clack, set design, lighting and sound.

Members of the cast include: Matt Carey, Voice of God; Kyle Smith, Noye; Michelle Byrd and Janette Robinson, Mrs. Noye; Chris Dyson and Ben McClelland, Sem; Louis Aaron Simpson, Ham; Ian Tucker, Jaffett; Crystal Aronson, Mrs. Sem; Erin Reagan, Mrs. Ham; Cori Beasley, Mrs. Jaffett; Dennese Adkins, Emily Garren, Kaleena Mann, Tess Wheetley and Oscar Quiroz, Mrs. Noye’s Gossips; Children and Youth of FUMC and Students of VPA, Chorus of Animals and Birds.

Members of the Orchestra include: Guy Harrison, concertmaster, Brian Henkelmann, organ, Luca Strazzullo, piano, and members of the ASU and Delta Symphony Orchestras.

For more details, one may call the Department of Music at (870) 972-2094.

# # #