MACON – Mercer University Opera will present The Last Sorcerer, an 1867 short chamber operetta composed by opera star and composer Pauline Viardot, which has been recently rediscovered and made available for performance. This light fairy tale story will take place at The Grand Opera House on April 17 at 6:30 p.m. and April 18 at 3 p.m.

The Last Sorcerer is a short, family-friendly production. The plot is reminiscent of many folk tales. Deep in the forest, the fairies play tricks on a grumpy old sorcerer in his decaying palace, in an effort to dislodge him from their woodland home. Primarily comic, the show features the mischievous fairies, the bumbling sorcerer, his surly assistant (a former giant who has shrunk as the sorcerer’s power has waned), as well as a love story – the fairy queen stage-manages a romance between sorcerer’s daughter and a prince from a neighboring country as part of her plan to get rid of the sorcerer.

Director Martha Malone, professor of music, notes that this show is a perfect way to introduce children to the opera: “It’s a delight in every way that pulls the audience into the story from the first note. The operetta has something for everyone. It will touch both your funny bone and your heart.”

This is the first opera that will take place with an in-person audience in Macon since the COVID-19 pandemic. The Grand Opera House has social distanced seating and a full safety plan in place. “I’m incredibly proud of our singers for performing so beautifully while masked,” Malone said. The cast will wear specially adapted masks designed for singers. Malone went on to note, “As our music director and conductor Professor Richard Kosowski said recently, ‘Every one of you performing in a mask is my hero!’”

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children, available online and at the door. Admission is free to those with a Mercer ID or any valid student I.D. For special needs patrons only, call 478-301-5470 to make an advance reservation. 

About Townsend School of Music

Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music, the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies offer undergraduate and graduate professional music studies in a comprehensive university environment. Townsend is nationally recognized for its outstanding faculty, award-winning students, performance ensembles and state-of-the-art facilities. The McDuffie Center, a special institute within Townsend School of Music, is a highly selective program that prepares string students for success in the real world. Students study with some of America’s most renowned string musicians, receiving music instruction of conservatory quality, while earning an academically well-rounded education from a comprehensive, nationally recognized university. For more information and a complete listing of this season’s concerts, visit www.mercer.edu/music, or call (478) 301-2748.

Julia Rubens is the director of arts marketing at Mercer University, where she seeks to promote The Grand Opera House, McEachern Art Center, Tattnall Square Center for the Arts, Townsend School of Music and the McDuffie Center for Strings.