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Articles & Essays

Kent fall opera scenes include premiere of The Story of an Hour

Kent State music education major Scott Little’s new opera, The Story of an Hour, has inspired KSU opera director Marla Berg to take her annual fall opera scenes program to a new level this year.

“Although I didn’t hear the portion of Scott’s piece that was workshopped during Cleveland Opera Theatre’s {NOW} Festival, Tim Culver thought it was really good. Then I heard a reading of some of the work at Kent. But what really spurred me on is that Scott wrote a short piece for the Kent orchestra and choral concert last spring, and I really liked it. He came in to talk with me about what it would be like to produce an opera and I thought, you know what? It’s a 40-minute piece. Wouldn’t it be an extraordinary experience for everybody involved if we did it.”

Courage of Her Convictions

JERUSALEM—Jessica Montell ’90 pops out of the passenger side of the armored Jeep and, ignoring the guard booth, charges toward a gap between two 30-foot high concrete slabs that make up the separation barrier between this part of Jerusalem and the West Bank. One of the guards, an Israeli soldier who is half Montell’s age, jumps up and raises his automatic weapon. “You can’t go there,” he barks in Hebrew.


Montell stops, but barks back, “We’re looking at the wall.” She has a reporter in tow and is determined to point out the problems with the controversial separation barrier, which has been under construction since 2002. The soldier lowers his weapon but shakes his head.

Keeping the Interfaith

Saturday, Nov. 1. Alex Chaitoff, a seventh-grader at Solon Middle School, stands on the bima (pulpit) at The Temple-Tifereth Israel (Reform) in Beachwood, a prayer shawl draped across his shoulders. He is on the verge of becoming a bar mitzvah.


As Alex looks out into the congregation at his parents, Craig and Patty Chaitoff, and at relatives and friends from both sides of the family, Rabbi Richard Block calls Patty's mother, father and two brothers to the bima to open the ark. The reverential action of opening the ark - awesome as it always is - is a commonplace action at a bar mitzvah. What is unusual in this instance is that not a single member of the group performing this task is Jewish. They are all Catholic.

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