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Opera singer cast in GLCT's Master Class

Lewisville Area Calendar and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/2/24 4:02:45 (1443 reads)

Open in new windowBy Nancy Thorne

Fortuitous fate intervened recently in Old Town Lewisville. In early December, The Greater Lewisville Community Theatre was preparing to hold auditions for its winter play, Master Class, about opera diva Maria Callas. GLCT opened its doors to visitors at the annual Old Town Christmas Stroll when opera singer and local resident, Emily Saenz, wandered in for her first visit. The staff was thrilled to meet her, she was very familiar with the opera-themed Master Class and, before the month was out, the show was cast with Emily playing the role of Sharon, one of two sopranos in the play. What great good fortune for all, especially GLCT audiences.

While Master Class is a play and not a musical, Maria Callas’ students in her Master Class at Juilliard do some opera singing as part of the show. For Ms. Saenz, this provides “a rare opportunity for actors and classical singers to collaborate.” Rehearsals work differently as well, notes Saenz. In an opera, the singer arrives at the first rehearsal “completely memorized, with a full character in mind and ready to stage. In theater you have several read-throughs and rehearsals to run things before you have to fully form your character, so you have time to explore things with your cast.”

Emily Saenz know of what she speaks. After completing her Doctorate in Music Arts at University of Texas, she settled in New York and made her New York City debut as Donna Elvira in New York Opera Exchange's production of Don Giovanni. Other recent performances include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at The Natchez Festival of Music, where she also sang Yum-Yum in The Mikado, and Monica in Opera Piccola's production of The Medium. She has performed solos with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the San Antonio Symphony Orchestras, and she currently performs both operatic and concert repertoire in Dallas.

Living in Lewisville was part of a well thought out plan and has been a “perfect fit” for the whole family. Ms. Saenz says they chose Old Town because “we wanted a more walkable lifestyle, and we wanted to be close to the DCTA line.” Her husband is a student at UNT, which is what brought them to the area, and they are located close to both her work with LISD and their son’s school. Now she is able to walk to GLCT for rehearsals and performances, an added, if unplanned benefit. She and her husband appreciate the diversity they have found in Lewisville as well. She says it is “something we grew accustomed to in New York City. We want our son to be raised with all kinds of different people, and Lewisville is the place to do that!”

Remaining performances of Master Class are this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. GLCT is located at 160 W. Main St. in Old Town Lewisville. The entrance and parking are in the rear off of Elm Street. Tickets for Master Class are $18 for adults and $16 for 65 & over or 18 & under. Call for reservations (recommended) at (972) 221-SHOW (7469). Additional information is available at

Photo: Emily Saenz as Soprano Sharon and Sherri Small as Maria Callas. (Photo by Michael C Foster)
Nancy Thorne is marketing coordinator for Greater Lewisville Community Theater.

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Letters: North Texans should Feel the Bern

Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2016/2/24 1:00:00 (1869 reads)

To the editor:

I support U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders for president because of his positions and character. Sanders would do the best job at improving our country because of his approach to our nation’s challenges.

Bernie will fight to get big money out of politics. Congress is overly influenced by corporations and wealthy special interests.

Sanders’ positions would help restructure the economy to represent the working class and the wealthy. Bernie has specific plans to ensure that: large corporations pay appropriate taxes and don’t move jobs overseas, we improve education and employment opportunities, no one that works 40 hours a week lives in poverty, and that we fully support our veterans and elderly.

If you listen to Bernie Sanders, you will hear someone who is fair, honest, confident, thoughtful, humble, enthusiastic and consistent.

Enough is enough! Do you want a president that will unite us to invest in people, or one who will divide us and continue to fuel greed?

Christine Smiley,

Send your letters to the editor to Be sure to include your name, city, and a phone number where we can reach you for verification.

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Creekside water system under scrutiny of state regulators

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/2/24 1:00:00 (2276 reads)

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A fire hydrant in Creekside was open earlier this month to depressurize the water system so crews there could repair a leak. (Photo by Steve Southwell)

Last month, The Lewisville Texan Journal reported that residents of Creekside mobile home park were frustrated by frequent water service outages and having to boil water to ensure safety.

On Friday, Feb. 5, the park was without water once again for hours while a line was being repaired.

But unlike past outages, residents said they received individual notices in advance on their doors in both English and Spanish - an improvement from a sign located near the entrance to the park that served as notice for previous outages.

Residents seemed to think that notice was a good sign at first, but Denice Crafton, who was quoted in the original story, says problems continue.

“[We] still never got notice to stop boiling water from the last outage,” she said. The park office later told her they had put out a sign.

Last Wednesday night, the water was off again with no prior notice.

LTJ reached out to the park, but the woman who answered would only say that maintenance had been called. She wouldn’t provide any information about the cause of the outage, and once the water started to come back on, she could not tell us whether it was safe to drink or not. Crafton called the office again the next day, and they told her the water was fine.

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Drug bust nets large quantities of pot, GHB, mushrooms

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/2/23 4:40:00 (17153 reads)

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Jason Bracken, Seth Murray, and Jacqueline Torbet were arrested on charges of manufacture or delivery of large quantities of marijuana, GHB, and psilocybin mushrooms (Mugshots via Denton County Sheriff's Office)


Last Thursday, Lewisville police detectives with the department's Special Operations unit arrested three suspected drug dealers and seized large quantities of illegal drugs and cash. The detectives were following up on complaints about drug activity at the Hebron 121 Station Apartments in the 800 block of Union Station Parkway.

According to the probable cause affidavit obtained by The Lewisville Texan Journal, detectives knocked on the door of the apartment, and when suspect Jason Brackin answered the door, detectives immediately smelled marijuana odor. When the detectives identified themselves and asked if he had smoked marijuana that day, Brackin allegedly told them he was “high as fu**” and had just smoked weed.

Detectives said that when they asked permission to get his pipe with the marijuana in it, Brackin gave consent and led them inside.

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During a search of the residence, detectives recovered 4.75 pounds of marijuana, 482 grams of psilocybin mushrooms and 321 grams of GHB, all felony offenses. (Photo courtesy Lewisville PD)
Inside, detectives saw and smelled marijuana and saw a brown glass pipe and grinder. They also observed a green baby bottle with a clear syrup-like liquid that they believed to be the drug gamma-hydroxybutyric acid - also known as GHB.

The affidavit says that detectives saw a bottle cap containing the syrupy GHB, and that from experience they know people use bottle caps to measure it for sale or use. They also found a measuring cup next to the bottle cap with GHB residue in it.

Detectives found suspects Seth Murray and Jacquelin Torbet in the apartment, and had all three of the residents sit aside while they swept the residence for other suspects. Finding none, they asked Brackin whether there was any other contraband in the apartment. They said he admitted to a bong and another pipe, but nothing else.

Detectives found more.

With Brackin’s consent, they searched his bedroom, belonging to him and his girlfriend. In the room, they found a bin containing several large plastic-wrapped bundles of marijuana. The detectives also allege they found other bags and packages of marijuana, as well as psilocybin mushrooms in the room. Brackin told police that a friend dropped off the drugs.

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Team USA wins FINA Intercontinental Tournament

Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2016/2/22 0:33:04 (1662 reads)

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Team USA's Maggie Steffens looks to pass the ball in the final game against Australia. (Photo by Anthony Mazur)
By Anthony Mazur

Lewisville has had the privilege of hosting the Women’s FINA (Fédération internationale de natation/International Swimming Federation) Intercontinental Water Polo Tournament this past week at the Lewisville ISD’s state-of-the-art Westside Aquatic Center. National teams from China, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Australia, and America played an 18 game tournament, resulting in Australia and America playing head-to-head in the final match.

Australia could not keep up in the first quarter, with Team USA scoring three goals on Australia. The Australians started to come back in the remaining quarters. The Americans were able to hold a one-point lead throughout the rest of the game however. At the half, America led 4-3. At the end of the third quarter they were ahead 5-4, and finished 6-5.

Australian head coach Greg McFadden explained the team hasn’t been together much due to their national league season.

“From the end of November until now, we’ve only been together for a week here and there,” McFadden said. “We haven't really fully centralized yet because of the local competition.”

McFadden will work with the other team in the coming weeks after the last bit of their local competition. Nevertheless, McFadden accepted the loss and views it as an important step to the Olympics this summer.

“It’s great,” he said. “It’s very important in our preparation for the Olympics.”

The American team had been heavily preparing for the games, sometimes practicing from six to eight hours a day.

“I think people would be blown away by how much we put into trying to be in the best level of fitness possible,” USA head coach Adam Krikorian said.

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