On March 13, Mississippi Opera's Opera Underground series presents Maryann Kyle and James Martin in an Evening with Cole Porter. Kyle and Martin will sing some standard favorites from the renowned songwriter Cole Porter as well as some of his lesser-known songs. "Night and Day," "It's the Lovely" and "In the Still of the Night" are just a few examples.
James Martin is a vocal professor at Millsaps College, and Maryann Kyle is a vocal professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. Both perform with the Mississippi Vocal Arts Ensemble and have active opera and cabaret performance careers.
The Opera Underground series, Martin says, is meant to help performers reach a broader audience and "also to show that we don't just sing with big orchestras on big stages. It's kind of nice to have an opportunity to let our hair down."
"It's a really successful experiment as a way of providing more contemporary and intimate performances for people who enjoy great music," Martin says about the Opera Underground series. "We're doing opera arias and mixing them with the American songbook standards."
The last installment of Opera Underground this season will be "Great Broads of Broadway" with Lester Senter on May 8. Senter is a renowned mezzo-soprano vocalist who has performed in more than 60 roles across the country and abroad. In 2001, the Mississippi Arts Commission presented her with the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Mississippi Opera will also present "The Elixir of Love," an Italian opera, on April 21 at Thalia Mara Hall.
The Opera Underground series is at Underground 119 (119 S. President St.) at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission costs $15 with food for sale. Call 601-960-2300, or visit msopera.org for more information and to buy tickets.