The Edmond Sun

May 6, 2013

Oklahoma Choral Artists presents ‘Trial by Jury’


Special to The Sun

OKLA. CITY — At 7 p.m. May 15 in the Christian Life Center at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, the Oklahoma Choral Artists will present a program of operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan featuring a staged performance with professional instrumental ensemble of “Trial by Jury.” The performance is co-sponsored by Oklahoma Choral Artists and the Emerson Community Action Board, a group of concerned citizens providing support for the Oklahoma City Public School’s Emerson Mid-High Alternative School, a school for young persons who are working to keep their lives together and earn a high school diploma. All proceeds from the evening will go to the support of projects at Emerson.

“Trial by Jury” was the first major collaboration by Gilbert and Sullivan. The plaintiff Angelina sues Edwin for breach of promise, the court’s usher tries to keep order in a three-ring circus of a courtroom and the not-so-learned judge must resolve the issue.

Gilbert always enjoyed poking fun at the legal profession, probably because he had attempted the profession himself. After a year’s effort, he found he had only five clients and decided that perhaps he was not cut out for a life in the law.

Oklahoma Choral Artists’ production is cast entirely from its own members, a large number of whom are well-known to Oklahoma City audiences for their stage appearances in operas, operettas and musicals.  

The principals include Jim Henline as the Learned Judge; Barbara Giager as Angelina; Garrett Rounsaville as Edwin; John Peebles as Council for the Plaintiff; Terry Runnels as the Usher; and David Anderson as the Jury Foreman. The Oklahoma Choral Artists provide the jury and bridesmaids. Edmond residents Carla Walker, Mark Parkhurst and Jack and Elaine Warner are members of the ensemble. The work will be conducted by OCA Artistic Director John Blackwell.

The evening also will include songs from “The Mikado,” “Iolanthe” and “The Pirates of Penzance.” Special guest artist is Audra Faust, a member of Southern Nazarene University’s vocal faculty and a graduate of SNU and the Boston Conservatory.  She recently appeared with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic in a concert of music from films. Jean Shackleton, OCA rehearsal pianist, will accompany.

All seats are general admission at $10 at the door on the evening of the performance. More information can be obtained by calling 820-3370.