The University of Michigan's Comic Opera Company

Who Are We?
Univesity Chapter Comic Opera Guild is a group of students, faculty, and community members who like to get together and socialize, plus put on a show or two. We generally choose to do shows that MUSKET, Rude Mechanicals, and UMGASS don't do, so we are able to do some musically challenging American musicals (SHOWBOAT, KISMET), the funniest of the European operettas (DIE FLEDERMAUS, ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD) and that truly American style of show, Vaudeville.

Comic Opera Guild has been around for about 25 years and has been intimately involved with the university community, and has had student members from virtually every school. It has only been in the past 5 years that our student members have felt we should have a bigger presence on campus, and so, enter University Chapter Comic Opera Guild!

UCCOG has it's own board of U of M students who have a say in what the group's productions will be and how the directors and other production staff are chosen and carry out their jobs.

COG and UCCOG have always encouraged students to participate in all areas of show productions, whether it be as directors, choreographers, performers, set designers, make-up, publicity and poster design, and occasionally to serve on the COG Board.

We like to present top quality shows, and it takes a lot of good people to make it happen, but it doesn't mean much if you don't have a little fun along the way. Whether it's cast parties, a caroling party around Christmas, or a Mardi Gras blow out, we do like to party, if we can find a place and an occasion!


The Comic Oprea Guild
Musical Series Present's:

In concert

Music by Jerome Kern
Book and Lyrics by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse

Friday, October 10 & Saturday, October 11
8 PM

Sunday, October 12
3 PM

University of Michigan Residential College Auditorium 701 East University, Ann Arbor

The Comic Opera Guild continues its series of in-concert American musicals with Jerome Kern's 1917 hit, "Leave It To Jane."

When the students of Atwater College realize their football team is no match for rival Bingham, it's up to Jane, the headmaster's daughter, to make a pass at Bingham's star half-back and convince him to play for "the big red A." This delightful story of midwestern college rivalry features a collection of spirited tunes, including "Cleopatterer," "Sir Galahad" and "Leave It to Jane." Featuring a cast of local favorites, and Adam Aceto and Patrick Johnson at the two pianos.

Fresh from their success with the Princess Theatre shows, the team of Jerome Kern, Guy Bolton, and P.G. Wodehouse set out to try their formula in a larger Broadway venue. The result was "Leave It To Jane," widely hailed as a triumph with its charming music and delightful characters. The musical theater in America prior to 1917 consisted mostly of operetta. Characters were hollow and songs were not integrated with the plot. While operetta in the style of Herbert and Friml continued to be fashionable into the 20s, the foundation laid by Kern, Bolton and Wodehouse made possible the later musical comedies of Gershwin, Berlin, Porter and Rodgers. "Jane" was part of a new form of rational musical comedy, and Kern would be revered by all theater composers after him as "the greatest." His later works included "Show Boat" (which COG performed in 1987), "Very Warm for May" and "Roberta." Wodehouse and Bolton would go on to write the book for Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" and lyrics for many hundreds of popular songs.

The Comic Opera Guild's production will again be a "concert performance," a somewhat rare event in Ann Arbor. This medium, performed without sets and with limited blocking, emphasizes the strength of the songs rather than the script (though all dialog is included). Although the show is orchestrated, it will be accompanied on two pianos, a common theatrical practice through even the 60s. In addition to providing an authentic period sound, the two pianos are better suited to a small cast and a small hall.

Rossini in the Fall!

The Comic Opera Guild is pleased to announce that we will be presenting Rossini's The Marriage Contract in Ann Arbor/Chelsea in the mid-winter of 2003-04. Rossini's first big hit is easily the best of his one-act operas. Possible the only comic opera in which the lead is a Canadian. Written in the Bel Canto style, the music is in the finest Rossini style. Presented in the Guild's well respected English translation.
Auditions will begin after the Mass Meeting on September 8. 5 principal roles. For more information, call COG at (734) 973-3COG

Return of The Bat in April!

A major star in the Guild's repertory, Die Fledermaus has had more produtions than any other operetta. While the show is performed at all the world's opera houses, this English translation is unique, adding depth to the characters and heightening the comedy of the plot. Productions will be at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater, April 16 - 18, 2004. Auditions for Pricipals and additional chorus will occur in early January, 2004.

If you were interested in viewing our cast from February 2000's production of CARMEN, please click on this CARMEN link.

The Comic Oprea Guild
2003-04 Season Mass Meeting
and Auditions.

On Monday, Sept. 8, there will be an informational meeting about the 2003-04 season at the Henderson Room, in the Michigan League, on the campus of the Universty of Michigan. Information and sign up for auditions, general introduction to the company, and the season's directors will start at 7:30 pm. Auditions will run from September 9 - 11, starting at 7:00 and going to 10:00, at the Student Theater Arts Complex on the campus of the Universtiy of Michigan
Please note that auditions for the musical Leave It To Jane and Rossini's The Marriage Contract will be done at the same sessions this year, and chorus will be given the opportunity to hold their position for Die Fledermaus. For more information, call COG at (734) 973-3COG

  And please, feel free to visit our parent site, The Comic Opera Guild

Webmaster Mitch updated 2/10/00