INA – Rend Lake College faculty member Sara Alstat will play the lead female role in the May 8-11 production of Ruddigore at the Sesser Opera House Company.
Although she admitted knowing very little about this particular Gilbert and Sullivan operetta when she auditioned, Alstat will feel right at home in the spotlight.
“I am very excited to be back on stage,” she said. “Performing is one of my greatest passions.”
It will be the first time she has performed for community theatre, she explained. Some of her students will be by her side as she has a go at it. Clinton (Cory) Garmane will be playing the male lead, Robin Oakapple; Gretchin Irons will be playing Mad Margaret; and Jay Meagher will be playing Sir Mervyn Murgatroyd.
“I am very excited to be working with several of my students,” she said. “I hope to be an inspiration and a mentor to them. There is no greater reward than to see students using the knowledge and training I have given them. I am very proud.”
Alstat is the Music Director for Rend Lake College. She is the director of the Madrigal Dinner Theatre and the Community Chorus there. She also serves as the musical director for all RLC stage productions. In addition to directing, she teaches private voice as well as several general education music courses at RLC. She holds a Master of Music specializing in Opera/Musical Theatre and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
“Ruddigore, or The Witch’s Curse” was the 10th collaboration between William Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan.
In this “supernatural opera” the Baronets of Ruddigore are cursed. Anyone who succeeds to the title has to commit a crime every day — or perish in inconceivable agony.
Robin Oakapple, a young farmer, loves Rose Maybud. While both are too shy to tell the other, Robin has another secret he is hiding. He is really Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, the rightful Baronet of Ruddigore, in disguise. His younger brother, Despard, believing Ruthven to be dead, has assumed the title. Robin’s foster brother, Richard, seeking Rose for himself, tells Despard of Robin’s deception, and Robin is forced to accept his true position, losing Rose to Richard in the process.
Now the Baronet of Ruddigore, Robin is confronted by the he ghosts of his ancestors who step from their picture frames in the gallery of Ruddigore Castle to confront him for failing to conscientiously commit his daily crime. Robin eventually finds a way of satisfying his ancestors demands whilst continuing to live a blameless life...
Alstat, a soprano, is a native of Vergennes, Ill. She has performed professionally as an actress, singer and dancer for Timber Dinner Theatre in Mt. Gretna, Penn.; and for McLeod Summer Playhouse, where she portrayed Grizabella in the 2006 production of Cats. According to Alstat, she will be performing in another MSP production, The Producers, in July.
She has performed in several productions with the Marjorie Lawrence Opera Theatre, including: The Magic Flute; Starting Here, Starting Now; Cabaret; Grand Night For Singing; and Puccini’s La Rondine. In addition to her Musical Theatre and Opera credits, Alstat was a vocalist for the 2007 Southern Illinois Music Festival and a soloist for the SIUC Concert Choir’s performance of Israel in Egypt and Beatus Vir in 2001.