Bethel Presents Miniature Operas

Bethel College Operatic Irregulars will explore the miniature side of chamber opera this fall semester when they present, “The Soothsayer of the Village” and “The Prodigal Son.” The two chamber operas, each featuring a cast of three, will be directed by Associate Professor of Music Robert Rhein, D.M.A., on Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Fine Arts Center on Bethel’s campus.

The first is a delightfully rustic comedy, "The Soothsayer of the Village," written entirely by one of the most famous Frenchmen of the 18th century, Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

The second piece is a very early work by Claude Debussy. This short drama, "The Prodigal Son," is a poetic retelling of the New Testament parable, with the invented character of the prodigal's mother heightening the emotional impact of the story.

Each work will be done in one act of about 40 minutes, for a total performance time of about 1 1/2 hours. Small instrumental ensembles will accompany the cast.

The performance is free of charge. For more information, contact the music department at 574.807.7101.

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 70 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,100 includes students from 34 states and Puerto Rico, 19 countries, more than 25 denominations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic achievement, talent in the arts or athletics, ethnicity and church affiliation. In addition to its beautifully wooded 75-acre main campus in Mishawaka, Ind., Bethel also offers specific academic programs at sites in Elkhart, Ind., Fort Wayne, Ind., Dowagiac, Mich., and St. Joseph, Mich. Nursing programs are also offered in cooperation with Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.