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Opera school

There is magic going on this week inside the ornate edifice that is Buffalo Seminary. There is sorcery. There are high C's.

Young singers, age 15 to 32, are being trained to step onto the opera stage. The weeklong program is called the Cadenza Workshop. Leading Cadenza is soprano Sebnem Mekinulov, who teaches voice at Buffalo State College, and her colleague Holly Bewlay. Distinguished visitors -- Rafaelle Ponti of the Genesee Symphony and Mario Martinez of Nazareth College -- are leading master classes. Pianists Roland Martin and Isabelle Aubin are offering accompaniment and coaching.

Students will be confronting a range of challenges -- from stage fright to diction to deciphering a character's psychological motivations. To put these skills into action, they are rehearsing entire scenes from Mozart's "Cosi fan Tutte" and "The Magic Flute," Johann Strauss Jr.'s "Die Fledermaus" and Puccini's "La Boheme."

The workshop participants will be staging the opera scenes for the public at 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday inside Buffalo Seminary (205 Bidwell Parkway). Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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