WMU opera workshop highlights Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro'

Contact: Dannielle Sturgeon

Artwork depicting The Marriage of Figaro.KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The School of Music at Western Michigan University will present a version of Mozart's opera, "The Marriage of Figaro," at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 3, and Tuesday, April 4, in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. The performance will be conducted by music faculty member Dr. David Little and accompanied by graduate piano major James Schippers. The event is free and open to the public.

About the production

Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro" has been a staple in opera houses the world over since its premiere in Vienna in 1786. After the first two performances the Emperor found it necessary to forbid "encores" of the many beautiful ensemble numbers in the score. The opera continues the stories of the characters of The Barber of Seville. The intrepid barber Figaro, now a servant in the castle of Count Almaviva, wants to marry the Countess' maid Susanna. However the Count, having amorous desires for Susanna himself, is delaying the wedding. An elaborate and humorous plot is hatched, involving secret notes, a cross-dressed pageboy, and clandestine meetings in the garden, in hopes of uniting the happy couple and causing the Count to return to the arms of his gracious and forgiving wife.

The production, which serves as the final project of the Opera Workshop class, takes a unique approach. WMU Director of Opera Carl Ratner says:

"We have so many fine voice majors this year, and we wanted to feature as many of them as possible and offer them the opportunity to prepare an opera that they will frequently encounter after graduation. So we came up with the idea of doing this abridged performance in which different actors play the same characters in different scenes. Each student is learning an entire role, but will share the performance with another student learning the same role. Clever costume pieces will help the audience keep track of who is who."

For more information about the production, contact Carl Ratner at carl.ratner@wmich.edu, visit wmich.edu/music or call (269) 387-4667.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.