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Performances of French Opera at Rutgers This Weekend and Next

Leo Delibes’s Lakmé, Story of Forbidden Love, Features the Well-Known Song “ The Flower Duet”

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--The famous opera Lakmé will be performed at Rutgers four times in the next two weeks, at Nicholas Music Center, located in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center at 85 George Street.

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, January 30 and February 6, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays, February 1 and February 8, 2015.

Lakmé, which takes place during the 19th century British invasion in India known as the British Raj, features a forbidden love story between a British officer and the daughter of a Brahmin priest.

Although it was originally composed by French composers Edmond Gondinet and Philippe Gille, and the first performance of featured ballet, production coordinator Pamela Gilmore says the Rutgers version will be somewhat more authentic, replacing ballet with Indian Classical Dance.

Gilmore is collaborating with choreographer Sudha Devulapalli and performers from Devulapalli’s Kalanjali School of Dance in Kendall Park in order to choreograph authentic Indian style dance routines.

Devulapalli has been helping with other things as well such as making sure that the costuming and portrayals of Hindu traditions are authentic and accurate, which is important because Gilmore says she and the director, E. Loren Meeker, are determined that the production avoid “false Indian or British stereotypes.”

The Opera features the well-known song, “The Flower Duet,” which has been featured in a wide array of films, according to Gilmore.

“Everyone is familiar with ‘The Flower Duet,’ but the rest of the score is stunning,” said Gilmore.

The production features New Jersey singers Vincent Grana, a Mason Gross School alum from Phillipsburg, and current student Christopher Georgetti of Nutley.

Lakmé’s technical director is Mason Gross alumna Latiana Gourzong of Ocean Township.

Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for Rutgers alumni, employees and senior citizens, $5 for students with valid I.D.

More information about this or any other  Mason Gross event is available at www.masongross.rutgers.edu, or by calling the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 848-932-7511.