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Children’s Opera ‘Beloved Prey’ Has Local Premiere at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre Sept. 24
Show Features Composer/Performer Kento Iwasaki ('09 MCCC Alumnus)

8/23/16


West Windsor, N.J. – “Beloved Prey,” a children’s opera about an unusual and enduring friendship between a lioness and an antelope, makes its Central New Jersey premiere at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

The opera is based on classic Japanese Noh theater and was composed by MCCC alumnus Kento Iwasaki (’09), a graduate of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North who now lives and works in New York City.  

Presented by The Traveling Opera Company, the one-hour show features Iwasaki and five other musicians, who blend traditional Japanese instrumentation, including the koto, with stylized dance movements and colorful costumes and masks.  The music will be accompanied by shadows of the show’s singers projected on a screen behind them. 

Iwasaki notes that the opera’s diverse elements combine for a spellbinding performance.  “The story mixes the natural world with a sense of the mythological,” he said.  “I hope to introduce young theater goers to a variety of influences and give them a memorable theater experience.”

Iwasaki’s “portable opera” concept is drawing attention and praise.  It was recently featured on JapanCulture•NYC, New York City’s No. 1 blog for Japanese culture.  Last year, he performed songs from “Beloved Prey” at the Ikebana International’s AKI NO KOKORO: Autumn Portraits in Ikebana & Koto in New York and was interviewed for the program A Tempo, hosted by Rachel Katz of WWFM The Classical Network.

After earning his MCCC degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Music, Iwasaki transferred to Temple University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Composition. He then completed his master’s in Classical Composition from the Manhattan School of Music.

Tickets for "Beloved Prey" are $10 for children, students and seniors, and $12 for adults.  Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.  Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

For a complete listing of adult and children's events for the 2016-17 season, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

2016-17 Kelsey Theatre Schedule
Kelsey Theatre Website
Audition Information
Tomato Patch Workshops
for Children and Teens

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A lioness forms an unlikely friendship with an antelope in this one-hour children's opera based on Japanese Noh theater.

MCCC alumnus Kento Iwasaki ('09) is the composer and featured koto player of the opera.

Performers are silhouetted on a screen behind the main stage.
 
 
 
Glenn Kraft