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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


A preview of Final Quartet, a chamber opera by John Vergin '78, noted Portland musician and Reed voice instructor, will be held on Sunday, August 30, at 7 p.m. in Reed's Eliot Hall chapel. The preview will feature excerpts from the production, followed by a discussion and Q&A with Vergin. Admission to the preview, which is sponsored by the Reed music department and funded in part by RACC, is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Reed events line at 503/777-7755.

Final Quartet examines the lives of four old women who are dealing with the fortunes presented to them by advancing age. They offer great variety in experience, personalities, health, and how they cope with being elderly in our society. Final Quartet asks the audience to consider these four characters not merely as old ladies, but as four human beings who happen to be old and for whom life is clearly finite, yet still valuable.

In addition to composing the chamber opera, Vergin is also librettist and music director. The cast includes Barbara Custer, Barbara Irvin, Lisa Florentino, Angela Niederloh, and Susan Payson. Final Quartet will be performed in its entirety October 16-18 at the Mago Hunt Theatre at the University of Portland.

A long-time Portlander, John Vergin is active in Portland's music scene as an instrumentalist for both church and synagogue. As a singer, he has performed sacred music through innovative solo recital performances, oratorio work, and theatrical roles such as comic characters of Gilbert and Sullivan and operetta. Vergin is also active in composition, having written solo pieces for organ and piano, over 30 songs in the art song tradition, numerous choral works, and a large body of work for theatre that includes critically acclaimed scores for Portland's Classic Greek Theatre. Vergin received a fellowship award for composition from the Oregon Arts Commission in 1993.