By Max Cassett
For The Diamondback
About 100 people rose from their seats for a round of applause Wednesday night in The Clarice Performing Arts Center for a rendition of the British opera Albert Herring.
Wednesday’s showing, presented by the Maryland Opera Studio in the University of Maryland’s music school, was the opera’s fourth showing over the last week at this university. The rendition was performed by 13 current and former students of the Maryland Opera Studio.
Albert Herring, a three-act opera composed by Benjamin Britten in 1947, explores the life of a child, Albert, in a small town in the United Kingdom. The opera examines Albert’s frustrations with the town and details his journey to break away from societal expectations.
Anthony Anderson, a vocal performance graduate student and member of the Maryland Opera Studio, played the role of Sid, Albert’s mischievous friend, in Wednesday’s opera.
Anderson said that his interest in the arts stemmed from high school. Anderson emphasized that he sings “mainly just out of joy.”
His journey to being a student at this university has been unexpected, Anderson said.
“For me to be in graduate school at this moment, I couldn’t have imagined it 10 years ago,” he said.
He added that he was drawn to performing the Albert Herring rendition due to his personal connection with the role.
“I really related to the character Sid,” Anderson said. “I feel like Sid is a person who really just wants to have fun and bring that fun out of everybody.”
The event also drew praise from several attendees at the show on Wednesday.
Sarah Borruso, a freshman music education and vocal performance major, said the show was “really entertaining.” Borruso acknowledged that opera is an “acquired taste,” but emphasized that she enjoys the genre.
This interest spurred her to attend the show, she added.
“As a voice student, I’m really invested in the productions that the school of music puts on,” Borruso said.
Jacob Lincoln, a senior in his fifth year of college, said he appreciated how the show presented opera through a unique lens.
While operas are traditionally performed in languages such as German and Italian, according to OPERA America, Albert Herring is performed in English.
“This is just a very different vibe,” the computer science and vocal performance major said.
Lincoln highlighted how the show was a stark contrast from “the standard opera rep” and incorporated a “very British kind of comedy.”
When reflecting on the four-show series, Anderson praised the entire Maryland Opera Studio for putting together the “special” performance.
“We are really a team-orientated kind of place,” Anderson said. “It takes everyone’s collective effort to really make something as special as this performance.”