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April 19, 2002

Love according to Mozart at CSUS opera

Photo: Jason Detwiller as Guglielmo, Brie Welch as DorabellaAt 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 12.

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) 766-2277.

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For further information, send an e-mail to infodesk@csus.edu or contact
public affairs at (916) 278-6156. For ticketed events, call the CSUS Ticket Office at (916) 278-4323.   

 
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