Trial by Jury


The Music Theater Workshop and concert choir at the University of Arkansas at Monticello are taking their show on the road in April.

The Music Theater Workshop will present three performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury at the Knoxville Opera’s Rossini Festival in Knoxville, Tenn., April 12. One of the performances will be a live radio broadcast.

“In past years, the Rossini Festival has had over 70,000 people attend,” said Dr. Kent Skinner, director of choral activities at UAM. “We’ve performed there before, but this is the first time we’ve been asked to perform more than once.”

Lead roles will be played by Dylan Miles, a senior music education major from McGehee, Carrie Ann Savage, a senior P-4 early childhood education major from Warren, David Wilson, a junior music education major from Sheridan, Robert Webb, a post-graduate student from Texarkana, and Jerry Trejo, a freshman nursing major from Fort Smith.

The concert choir will join the Arkansas Choral Society and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra for a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s masterpiece “Elijah” on April 25 at 7 p.m. at Christ The King Catholic Church in Little Rock.

Vocal soloists include baritone Scott Bearden, who will sing the title role, soprano Linda Barnett, tenor Sergio Cepeda, and alto Diana Salesky. Skinner will conduct the performance. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling (501) 376-8484 or at the door the evening of the concert.

Bearden is a nationally-acclaimed vocalist who won both the Irene Dalis Vocal Competition and the Chester Ludgin American Verdi Baritone Competition in front of a judging panel that included Placido Domingo. Bearden has played leading roles in numerous operas, including H.M.S. Pinafore, Falstaff, La Traviata, and I Pagliacci.

Barnett has performed across the United States and in Italy. Among her operatic roles are Angelica in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Contessa Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and Mimi in Puccini’s La Boheme.

Salesky has performed with the New York City Opera, the Brooklyn Bach Festival, the New York Festival Orchestra, and Musica Hebraica. For the past five years, she has been a member of Choralfest, a group of premier professional singers and instrumentalists who perform large choral works.

Cepeda’s recent performances on the operatic stage include the roles of Tamino, Nemorino, Alfredo, Romeo, Edgardo, Don Ottavio, and Flavio.