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EHS Graduate Is Part of Historic Opera

By Staff | Oct 15, 2020

INDIANOLA — Alexander Gray, a 2017 graduate of Emmetsburg High School, will be a part of Simpson College’s upcoming performance, “Prospera’s Island: An Operatic Fantasia.” A first of its kind at Simpson College, the production will be available to anyone with an internet connection.

Gray will play the role of Caliban.

In response to attendance limitations due to COVID-19, “Prospera’s Island” was pre-recorded and will stream on-demand from Friday, Oct. 16 through Thursday, Oct. 22. The opera serves as the 2020-21 season-opener for Simpson Productions, the college’s theatre, opera and musical theatre collaboration.

There is no charge for the virtual event, but pre-registration is required. Visit simpson.edu/SimpsonProductions to register.

“Prospera’s Island” follows the story of Prospera, a conductor living in isolation. Forced to reconcile with those who have wronged her – and those she has wronged – Prospera finds herself in the eye of a torrential storm. Inspired by Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” this unique production utilizes music from other operas to tell the tale of Prospera and the magic of performance in a new land.

“This performance will take the audience on a magical journey that is full of beautiful music, colorful costumes and amazing twists and turns,” said Jennifer Nostrala, professor of theatre arts and director of the opera. “I think the variety of music styles will surprise audiences and keep them engaged throughout the performance.”

Music for the piece was prepared by conductor Bernard McDonald, associate professor of music and the G. Dewey and M. Maine Larsen Chair in Opera.

Simpson College is a private, liberal arts college located in Iowa with campuses in Indianola, West Des Moines and online. Founded in 1860, the college has 1,268 undergraduate and graduate students, and offers 74 majors, minors and programs in addition to three graduate programs.