Opera Extravaganza to feature Spongebob

The Ghost of F.J. Lee recites the college benediction just out of frame.

In an attempt to appear more accessible to the student body, the Lee University Opera will be tweaking its depiction of the Marriage of Figaro to include more exciting and modern characters. The new characters, which were chosen through an online poll, will be played by some of the most popular figures at Lee University.

“We want students to ask themselves why they haven’t been paying attention to Opera all these years” said project director Ashton Teague. “If we have to defile the classiness of Opera by pandering to a hyperactive audience then, sigh, so be it.”

Spongebob, who was revealed in recent years to be living behind the Conn Center blue curtains, will play the title role, while a host of other popular performers, including Santa Clause, the Horse from Life at Lee, and the new Chapel will act and sing as supporting characters.

The marriage of Figaro depicts a chaotic day in the life of Figaro, and his attempts to thwart the dealings of the plotting Count Almaviva. This version will be slightly different though, as particular cast changes call for new twists in the Mozart classic.

“We can’t reveal all the changes just yet,” said Teague “But I can assure you some faculty have been eager to be involved.”

The posted list of new faculty characters include Mike Hayes as Katniss Everdeen, Carolyn Dirksen as Cyborg Peter Pan, Walt Mauldin as the Ghost of F.J. Lee, and Danny Murray as a Cowboy Chairman Mao Zedong. Other characters created specifically for this performance include a soothsaying sentient refrigerator, a wisecracking flying baby, and a family of talking koalas infected with the SARS virus, and a lonely Cumulus cloud searching for a way back to communist Russia.

“So far the plots changes have overlapped pretty seamlessly with the classical plot of the Opera,” said strobe light technician Jeff Stack. “I didn’t think Spongebob could hit those low notes, but his contra-alto voice has a surprisingly broad range”

The Opera Extravaganza, Featuring Spongebob: Figaro vs. The World premiered yesterday in the Squires recital hall and will continue on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 with a 3:00 matinee on Sunday.

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