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Local Actors Star in JMU Opera

<bt>Local students Dorian Balis, Justin Leighty, Nyla Khalil, Erin Driscoll, Beth Maskey, James Myers, Sean Pflueger and Matt Barclay are featured artists in the James Madison University Masterpiece Concert Series, Nov. 7-9, in Harrisonburg. This semester the JMU School of Music presents the operetta "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss.

Balis, who graduated from Robinson Secondary School and studied with Ruth McConnell, plays the leading role of Gabriel von Eisenstein, a wealthy husband with a short temper and a wandering eye. Leighty, who graduated from James Madison High School and studied with Brenda Kay Greene and Edrie Weekley, plays the title role of Dr. Fledermaus, a friend who devises a scheme to give von Eisenstein his just rewards.

Both Myers and Barclay graduated from Lake Braddock Secondary School and studied singing with Russell Penney. Myers, a freshman at JMU, is singing in the select 16-voice chorus, while Barclay takes on the role of Alfred, an Italian tenor who is madly in love with a married woman. Pfleuger, also from Lake Braddock Secondary School, studied singing with Laurie Nelson.

Both Maskey and Driscoll are singing in the 16-voice chorus, and Driscoll understudies Khalil, who plays the leading role of Adele, a maid who aspires to become a great actress. Both women previously studied singing with Dorothy Kingson before attending JMU.

The opera will be performed in English at Wilson Hall on the JMU campus. Performances will take place Nov. 7, 8, and 9, at 8 p.m. Admission is $8 and $6 for students. For information about the opera or opera program at James Madison, contact Dorothy Madison at maddisdx@jmu.edu. Advance tickets may be reserved by calling the JMU Masterpiece Season box office 540-568-7000.