Ouachita Baptist University will host opera and musical theatre director Dr. Mark Ross Clark in a musical theatre workshop on Friday, March 7. The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 3-5 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center.
The first half of the workshop will include movement exercises to help prepare participants for singing and performing. Clark will then work with four students in a master class, critiquing their performances of musical theatre selections for the benefit of all workshop participants.
“I hope that students will gain tools they can use for preparing their vocal repertoire,” said Dr. Maggie Garrett, assistant professor of music.
Garrett was a student of Clark’s in the Indiana University opera workshop while pursuing her Master of Music degree and explained that Clark previously conducted an opera workshop at Ouachita in 2010.
“Dr. Clark requested to come to OBU because he was impressed with the high caliber of our students when he was here to present a workshop in 2010,” Garrett noted.
She added that the workshop seeks to provide dual outcomes, giving students the opportunity “to try out physical exercises they can take home and apply to their singing.” Additionally, she said, “During the master class portion, attendees will see how a professional stage director works to bring the vocal and theatrical improvements he desires out of the performers with whom he is working. It is the hope that they will learn things they can apply to their own performances.”
Clark currently serves as artistic director of the Louisiana Lyric Opera and director of opera and musical theatre at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. He also is a respected author and is in the process of publishing a new book on musical theatre repertoire that includes analysis of 100 Broadway songs for voice students and their teachers. His books Singing, Acting and Movement in Opera and The Guide to Aria Repertoire are widely used by singing actors and instructors.
Clark previously served as director of the Indiana University Opera Theatre, and his students have gone on to sing at such renowned opera theatres as The Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, The New York City Opera and The Chicago Lyric Opera. He has directed opera productions throughout the U.S. as well as in the United Kingdom and Brazil; his production of Susannah at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro won national recognition by the National Opera Association in 2005.
The Ouachita students who will perform in the master class are Chad Burris, Timothy Drennan, Caitlin Secrest and Garrett Whitehead. Staff pianists Susan Monroe and Phyllis Walker will accompany the singers. All participants should come dressed appropriately for the movement portion of the workshop.
For more information, contact Dr. Maggie Garrett at email@example.com or (870) 245-5271.