8 p.m., Friday, May 10, California State University, Sacramento's
Opera Theatre opens a "School for Lovers" - the
subtitle of Mozart opera Cosi fan tutte - scheduled
to run for four performances, ending May 18.
"It's going to be a fun-filled, innovative approach to
opera performance," says Lynn Stradley, CSUS music professor
and stage director for the show. "Our posters have the
verbiage 'It's erotic, it's exotic, it's melodic, it's Mozart
at his most melodic' as a clue to how the show will go."
The opera's cast, led by five soloists who have all performed
with professional opera companies, will sing the Italian musical
selections accompanied by the orchestra. The connecting dialogue-like
material will be performed in English.
"People like to see operas performed in their original
language, but they also like to know what is going on,"
says Stradley. "From time to time, members of the chorus
will carry large placards with descriptions as to what the
Italian language scene is about. Mozart used speech-like sections
called 'recitatives' for parts of the show which are the equivalent
of dialogue in the modern musical. These we are doing in English,
accompanied by harpsichord."
Two of the major subjects dealt with in Cosi fan tutte
are love and loyalty. Two recently engaged couples are tested
by the temptations of others in the fun and twisting plot.
"There are so many wonderful moments in the opera, but
the finales of both acts are really great because it's a chance
for the principle actors to sing, act and move together,"
Stradley says. "The finales are Mozart at his best and
they are very entertaining."
Baritone Jason Detwiler, a CSUS alumnus and resident artist
with Opera San Jose, performs the role of Guglielmo, one of
Neapolitan's soldiers provoked into testing his fiancé's
fidelity. Soprano Janelle Laurenti, the Metropolitan Opera
Regional Audition winner, plays the fickle Fiordiligi. Mezzo-soprano
Margo Baxter, a soloist in a recent Sacramento Opera show,
succumbs quickly to seductions as Dorabella. Soprano Miriam
Boncato, who debuted with the Apollo Opera, plays the tempting
maid Despina. Sacramento Opera veteran tenor Tim Pastore joins
the festivities as Fernando, Dorabella's fiancé.
Cosi fan tutte will be presented with full orchestra
under the direction of CSUS alumnus Michael Dale. The opera
plays at 8 p.m., Friday, May 10, Thursday, May 16 and Saturday,
May 18. A 2:30 p.m. matinee will be performed on Sunday, May
Tickets are $15 general and $10 for students and seniors.
Group rates are available. Tickets are available at the CSUS
Ticket Office at (916) 278-4323 or at Tickets.com at (916)
For further information, send an e-mail
public affairs at (916) 278-6156. For ticketed events, call
the CSUS Ticket Office at (916) 278-4323.