North Central stages opera double bill “Trial by Jury” and “The Sorcerer”

Jun 30, 2014

North Central College’s Summer Light Opera presents the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas “Trial by Jury” and “The Sorcerer.”

Six performances will be staged at 7:30 p.m. July 11, 12 and 17-19 and at 2 p.m. July 13 in North Central’s theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville. Tickets are $18/adults and $12/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

“Trial by Jury” and “The Sorcerer” are British duo Gilbert and Sullivan’s second and third collaborations, respectively, with libretto by Gilbert and music by Sullivan. Both operas feature heavy satire and outrageous plots. “Trial by Jury” is a sung-through piece in which a jilted bride takes her groom to court. “The Sorcerer” is a tale of magic and mix-ups where a betrothed man attempts to level social ranks and share the gift of love by slipping a love potion in his guest’s tea.

The double bill is directed by Matt Boresi with musical direction by Jeordano Martinez and features community residents in the cast. Boresi, a 1997 alumnus of North Central College, is an award-winning librettist who’s written a number of successful plays, musicals and operas and serves as an acting and writing instructor for North Central’s Musical Theatre Workshop. Martinez is professor of music emeritus at North Central College and conducts the 125-voice Naperville Chorus.

“Trial by Jury” and “The Sorcerer” will be featured as a one act and encompass modernized interpretations from Boresi and Martinez of early British comic opera.

“‘The Sorcerer’ is now set at a modern British royal wedding and ‘Trial by Jury’ is set in a modern courtroom, with modern sloppy bridesmaids,” says Boresi. “A Gilbert and Sullivan work, even though it is filled with literary and musical references specific to its time, is so keenly observant of human folly that it modernizes well.”

The North Central College Summer Light Opera program is now in its sixth year. Boresi and Martinez previously presented “Iolanthe,” “Princess Ida,” “The Mikado,” “HMS Pinafore” and “The Gondoliers.” The cast of “Trial by Jury” and “The Sorcerer” includes students from a number of colleges and conservatories, voice teachers, early career professional performers and opera enthusiasts from all walks of life.

The cast of principal roles (some are double cast) for “Trial by Jury” includes (part: name):

The Learned Judge: Brad Morrison of St. Charles and a 2013 North Central graduate
The Plaintiff (Angelina): Jenny Reusz and Julie Jarosz of Downers Grove and a 2011 North Central graduate
The Defendant (Edwin): John Blasdel of Naperville
Counsel for the Plaintiff: Gary Drawant of Aurora and a 2014 North Central graduate
Usher: Ian Molitor of North Aurora and a 2012 North Central graduate
Foreman of the Jury: Joseph Myers of Downers Grove

The cast of principal roles (some are double cast) for “The Sorcerer” includes (part: name):

Sir Marmaduke Poindextre, an Elderly Baronet: Keith Aarseth of West Chicago
Alexis of the Grenadier Guards: Nathan Henry of Plainfield
Dr. Daly, Vicar of Ploverleigh: Brad Morrison of St. Charles
Notary: Richard Laidman of Naperville
John Wellington Wells of JW Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers: Joseph Myers of Downers Grove
Lady Sangazure, a Lady of Ancient Lineage: Jessica Coffey of Plainfield, Nadia Tancredi
Aline, her Daughter, betrothed to Alexis: Amanda Digrindakis of Naperville, Jane Marshall of Darien and 2014 North Central graduate
Mrs. Partlet, a Pew Opener: Malinee Ganahl of Darien
Constance, her Daughter: Colleen Johnston of Naperville

The Summer Light Opera is one of three musicals this summer at North Central College. The final musical of the summer is “Bye Bye Birdie,” directed by Susan Craig-Olsen and presented Aug. 1-3 and 8-10.