San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 13th, 2009
Texas State, Wine Cellar present short operas

Two American Operas, A Game of Chance and Face on the Barroom Floor, will be performed at the Wine Cellar.


Texas State University will present two once-act operas at the Wine Cellar on consecutive Thursday and Friday nights, Oct. 15-16 and 22-23.

Presented and selected by Texas State Opera Director Samuel Mungo, the short American operas may surprise those who expect opera to be fat ladies wearing braids and breastplates.

Since starting at Texas State four years ago, Mungo’s commitment to the arts in San Marcos has led him to work with many organizations in the area, including the San Marcos Performing Arts Association and San Marcos High School. He continues that commitment with the productions at the Wine Cellar.

The two operas chosen for the event, Seymour Barab’s A Game of Chance and Henry Mollicone’s Face on the Barroom Floor, feature unusual and amusing stories.

“The two operas I’ve chosen for this production are wonderfully tuneful, the music is in the folk/musical theater style,” said Mungo. “The stories are 30-35 minutes in length. The shows are perfect for couples, families and folks of all ages.”

A Game of Chance debuted in 1957 in Illinois. Originally a story of three knitting spinsters who think life is passing them by, it has been updated to follow three college-aged waitress who feel stuck in their dead end jobs and yearn for a better life. The short opera answers the question, what if you actually got what you wished for?

Seymour Barab is an award winning composer who has written many short operas. Notably, he wrote Cosmos Cantata, using a text by Kurt Vonnegut. Speaking about the composer, Vonnegut said, “Barab’s music is full of magic. He proved to an atheist that God exists. What an honor to have worked with him.”

Mollicone’s Face on the Barroom Floor features a score that is part old-west, part honky-tonk and part folk song. The story is the tale of a mysterious painting on the floor of a bar, who painted it and how it came to be. Originally commissioned by the Center City Opera in 1978, the piece has been in constant production ever since.

The Wine Cellar is offering a three-course dinner and the show for $40. Patrons can choose to only see the show for $10. Reservations are required for the event. They can be made by calling Texas State at (512) 245-2651 or the Wine Cellar at (512) 805-9463. The Wine Cellar is located on the corner of LBJ and East Hopkins Street in San Marcos.

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