Peggy Sears’ Last Opera Scenes

10 Jun

Fernando Miranda
Inverted Pyramid Essay
Peggy Sears’ Gala

The Last ‘Evening of Opera’ and Zarzuela Scenes under the direction of Peggy Sears

On Friday, April 26 the California State University, Bakersfield Opera Theatre presented “An Evening of Opera and Zarzuela Scenes” at the Doré Theatre. However, there was something different about the annual show. These are the last opera scenes that Peggy Sears has directed and are the culmination of the 22 years of teaching here at CSUB.

Prior to the show, a gala was held in honor of Sears’ 22-year career at CSUB. Students that have long graduated and now have careers of their own came back to celebrate Sears and to thank her for everything she taught them. Some of her current students expressed their gratitude in testimonials.

Ashten Smith, Vocal Performance student, thanked Sears for restoring her confidence in herself and for pushing her beyond what she thought she could do, after being told at her previous college that she “had no business” singing.

A guest at the gala provided some comedic relief by asking her “not even in shower”. This made the student chuckle and smile and responded with smile “not even in the show”, answering the audience member’s inquiry in the affirmative.

Robert Hamilton, 24,said that he felt that Peggy hated him at first because she would not compliment him. He said that almost everyone told him that he was good when he was in high school.

He was going through what is known as “the big fish” syndrome. He learned everything he could learn and could be taught by his high school instructors with the given materials.

Sears also shared that “Help, Help, the Globolinks!” resonated with her. In the opera scene, Earth becomes invaded by aliens known as Globolinks. If an individual gets touched by a Globolink, they become infected and become an alien themselves. The only way to successfully ward off the Globolinks is by playing music. “I love the Globolinks,” says Sears, “because it reminds me of that music is an essential part of the human experience.”

Some of her colleagues shared stories and memories as well. Jim Scully, music professor, says that he “…was a student of Peggy’s from 1991-1994. I have been here for the past 12 years and she’s the reason opera has become important at this university. It has been her vision to make this happen.”

One of Sears’ students, Elizabeth Provencio, 22, a single-subject teaching credential student, shared what she thought was the most important lesson she learned from Sears as well as her fondest memory.

“I have learned the importance of ‘prepared-ness” said Provencio. She said th at her fondest memory of Sears is “ her quote-abilty. She is not afraid to say something hilarious or unexpected if she feels that it will add to the learning experience.”

Dr. Soo-Yeon Park Chang will be taking over Sears’ classes beginning in the fall quarter of 2013.

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