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Madrigal Dinners Thursday
1113 OPERA 2
Chris Deraney rehearses for the upcoming Christmas opera, St. Nicholas, which will be performed Thursday and Saturday at 6 p.m. at GSU's I.T. building - photo by KATHERINE KENNEDY/Staff
    Kicking off the Christmas season, Georgia Southern Opera presents its third annual Madrigal Dinners and Holiday Celebration Thursday and Saturday at 6 p.m. in the atrium of the Information Technology Building on GSU's campus. Each evening - which will be filled with dinner, dancing and music - will be topped off with a one-act Christmas opera, entitled "St. Nicholas", to be performed during dessert and coffee.
    Dr. Arikka Gregory, GSU’s Opera director and assistant professor of voice, said a number of GSU departments collaborated to pull off the show.
    "The theater department helped us by providing lighting and stage elements," said Gregory. "The I.T. folks very generously allowed us to take over their building and disrupt their activities, which are very busy this time of year. The music department provided us with great students for the orchestra and Kyle Hancock donated his time as conductor. It has really been a group effort."
    Kyle Hancock, associate professor of voice at GSU, is directing the chamber orchestra. He said the entire evening is coming together.
    "The orchestra is very good. They read through the score virtually without flaw the first time," said Hancock. "This is another step for us, as madrigal dinners is concerned, since we've moved up to a chamber orchestra this year."
    Hancock described what the audience should expect.
    "They should anticipate a very charming, listenable score - very good singing and acting - a nice compact operatic experience for dessert."
    Gregory added that the program will help ring in the Christmas season.
    “With students going home at the beginning of December, it’s really great that they are able to participate in the kick-off for the holiday season here in Statesboro,” said Gregory. “Madrigals, flute choirs and recorder music are at their best during the holidays. When you hear the music, you’ll instantly be in the holiday spirit.”
    Tickets for the performance are $27 for GSU students and faculty and $35 for general admission. Also, tables that seat eight can be purchased. Dr. Gregory encourages everyone to contact the Performing Arts Center Box Office at (912) 486-7999 to secure tickets or tables. Gregory recommends making reservations early and if patrons want to purchase tickets at the door, they should come early. Last year's performances sold out.
    For additional information, contact Arikka Gregory's office at (912) 681-5408.

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