News Release| Opera Production; Cal State L.A.


Note to news directors or reporters: Director Mark Lamanna can be reached for interviews at the following – or 323-665-6643. (See calendar listing below.)


‘This Is The Rill Speaking’ gets a singing treatment

Drawn from Wilson’s rural play, Hoiby’s opera
comes to Cal State L.A. April 8-10

Los Angeles, CA –  Rural America comes through operatically in a Cal State L.A. production of “This is the Rill Speaking,” which plays at the University’s State Playhouse April 8-10.

Crafted as a one-act opera by Lee Hoiby, the production is based on the play by Lanford Wilson.

Performances will be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. They will feature CSULA student performers Steve Chavez, Joseph Garate, Jessica Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Christie Lawrence, Stephanie Lynn, Lynda Reynolds, Tara Riccelli, Irene Salazar, Nandani Sinha, Chad Viator, and Sarah Wheeler.

Directed by Mark Lamanna, with musical direction by Ben Makino, the story captures the everyday happenings of rural America. (See below for Lamanna’s biography.)

One of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wilson’s early works, This Is the Rill Speaking is a non-narrative, multi-vocal evocation of a 20th century small town. It is a genre embodied in such works as Dylan Thomas’s Under Milkwood, Edgar Lee Master’s Spoon River Anthology, the stories of Sherwood Anderson, and Thornton Wilder’s Our Town.

Tickets are $16 general; $12 for seniors and students; and $8 for CSULA students. They are available at /dept/theatre_dance/. For details, call (323) 665-6643.

#  #  #

Calendar listing:

“This is Rill Speaking.”
Thursday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 10, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
State Playhouse, on the Cal State L.A. campus.
Campus map and directions: /univ/maps/cslamap.php  
Tickets: $16, general; $12, seniors and students; $8, CSULA students only.

Available at /dept/theatre_dance/  
For details, call (323) 665-6643.

About Mark Lamanna:

Mark Lamanna (stage director) was named Classical Singer Magazine’s 2007 Stage Director of the Year. He has become known for imaginative productions that have both dramatic and musical integrity—La Tragédie de Carmen, La Traviata, The Mikado, and Die Fledermaus (Intimate Opera Company), a concert version of La Traviata for Bakersfield Symphony, and Dido and Aeneas at USC’s Jeanette MacDonald Hall. His musical theater concerts for Opera New Jersey were highlights of four consecutive summer seasons. For the Ridgefield Opera Company, he created A Bernstein Celebration. His various staged opera scenes programs include Opera New Jersey, Songfest, and Webster University. He directed a world-premiere excerpt of Leanna Primianni’s Truman for Opera Americain Seattle.

Lamanna was in the original cast of the Alan Jay Lerner/Charles Strouse Broadway musical Dance a Little Closerr, in which he was also personal dance assistant to lead Len Cariou (the original Sweeney Todd). He acted, sang and danced his way through regional and off-broadway musical theater productions for over ten years. Lamanna trained theatrically in New York City, where he studied voice with Jim Carson and Lynne Vardaman, trained as an actor at the T. Schreiber Studio, HB Studio, and the Actor’s Studio, and danced on full scholarships to the Joffrey Ballet School and Balanchine’s School of American Ballet.



Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 210,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.


Back to: News site  |  Services for Journalists  |  Public Affairs  |  Cal State L.A.