Mandujano (center) in a production of La Perichole. Photo Credit: Maria Medina

By Isaac Blunt

Reinhardt Eagle Eye reporter Isaac Blunt interviewed Reinhardt Opera associate Jaime Mandujano on March 11, 2020, to hear the big news about the program’s upcoming performances.


Reinhardt music education and vocal double major Jamie Mandujano. Photo Credit: Maria Medina

Isaac Blunt: “What is your name, grade and major?”


Jaime Mandujano: “My name is Jaime Mandujano, I am a senior, and I am a vocal performance and music education double major.”


Blunt: “What made you decide to pursue this major?”


Mandujano: “Well, I had a love for performing and for music education, and at the time of graduating from high school I didn’t know which one to pursue, so I pursued both.”


Blunt: “Interesting. For music education, would you prefer to teach more high school level or more of an elementary and middle school level?”


Mandujano: “I’ve always wanted to teach high school, but I am definitely open to middle and elementary school. Both are options.”


Blunt: “Are you involved in any clubs, teams or programs here at Reinhardt?”


Mandujano: “Just the opera program, mostly.”


Blunt: “Tell me more about that program, please. What have their past productions been?”


Mandujano: “In the past, we’ve done other operas like Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutti, Susannah, and now we’re working The Sound of Music.”


Blunt: ”I have heard that the opera program is performing pieces from The Sound of Music. Could you tell me a little of its history?”


Mandujano: “Well, we are putting up a production of The Sound of Music, which follows the life of a postulant who has been assigned to care for the Von Trapp family children based on a true story. It’s a golden age musical and takes place right before World War Two.”

Mandujano (right) rehearsing The Sound of Music piece “Sixteen Going On Seventeen” Photo Credit: Hannah Reich


Blunt: “How long or difficult of a process was it to put on this production?”


Mandujano: “We started right when we came back from winter break with auditions, and there was a schedule sent out for everyone telling us when to come in and when we were needed. We had roughly a month and a half to memorize our parts. As a person training in this profession, it wasn’t too hard, and it was honestly fun to work with.”



Blunt: “Did you have to make any of your props or sets yourselves?”


Mandujano: “Yes, we tried to find most of our costumes ourselves, and those we couldn’t find, the program gets for us. The props and sets we make and build ourselves; we get a week to build it all. We aren’t given access to Flint Hall, our performance venue, until the week before the Sunday of the show. During that time, we build everything. An added difficulty is we were put under quarantine in FPAC today and were unable to work.”

Blunt: “How many performers are showcasing their talents?”


Mandujano: “We have 28 performers. Some students were double casted, and we hired outside children to play the younger parts.”


Blunt: “After a performance like this, what does the opera program typically have planned next? What is the plan after The Sound of Music ends?”


Mandujano: “We will have master classes, guest speakers, lessons on how to perform in an opera setting and how to succeed in the opera world.”


Blunt: “If you had any advice for other singers or for people who just want to sing better, what are your do’s and don’ts?”


Mandujano: “Care for your voice, hydrate, make sure your body is healthy and care for technique– because you cannot succeed with talent alone.”


Blunt: “Well, Jaime, thank you, sir, for meeting with me today. I wish you all to break a leg at your performances, and I look forward to listening to it.”


Mandujano: “My pleasure. Thank you for having me, and we hope to see you in attendance.”


The Reinhardt Opera program has currently postponed its performance until a later date, to be determined.


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