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Greetings, retail workers! As the much-maligned company mix CD has no doubt informed you, Christmas is on its way! Never mind Thanksgiving, that doesn’t get music ... with one important exception.

Have you ever wondered why “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” mentions spooky ghost stories? Yeah, by “spooky ghost stories” it means “scary American history.” Who knew? Anyway, when thinking of gifts that loved ones and/or bitter enemies you nonetheless have to Secret Santa for might appreciate, have you considered that giving someone time out of your busy, busy life is a treasure in and of itself?

For example, there’s Christopher Campbell, a tenor. Campbell’s work in oratorio includes works by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and many others; Campbell’s work in opera has earned him many roles such as Rodolfo in La Bohéme, Don Jose in Carmen, Alfredo in La Triviata, and of course others. The man has performed as a guest soloist at the Hollywood Bowl, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Ambassador Auditorium, Royce Hall at UCLA, and the Crystal Cathedral.

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And yet, he’ll be at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center’s Pavilion at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, presenting a vocal master class you could experience; it’s even free! Now, some might argue it the duty of the talented in many fields to pass down their knowledge to others to keep the art forms alive, and there’s certainly some truth to the helpfulness of all of that. But let’s be real here, as shocking as this idea might be: Even artists have lives.

The class, which is, once again, free and open to the public, will feature several leading voice students of Cal Poly’s Music Department, who will perform and be critiqued on their performances. The talented Paul Woodring will accompany students on the piano for their segments. If you’d like even more information on the class, please call the Cal Poly Music Department at 756-2406.

For the record, Campbell will also be in town to perform with the Cal Poly Symphony for its upcoming concert on Dec. 7. The concert, titled Symphony at the Opera, also features another vocalist, Ciera Lamborn, a soloist. The event will begin with three orchestral works, Wagner’s overture to Die Meistersinger von Nurenberg, Rossini’s overture to The Barber of Seville, and Saint-Saëns’ “Danse Bacchanale” from Samson and Delilah. Our two guest artists will perform solo arias from operas by Puccini, “Vissi d’arte” from Tosca, and “Nessun Dorma!” from Turandot. After intermission, the two will even perform part of the first act of Puccini’s La Bohéme, an opera which, fun fact, directly inspired the popular musical Rent. Tickets for this event are $14 and $12 for general audiences, or $12 and $9 for seniors and students.

 

Intern Christopher White-Sanborn wrote about Christopher Campbell at the Christopher Cohan Center this week. Send your collegiate news to cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com!

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