DePauw Opera to present Mozart’s comic masterpiece

Monday, February 26, 2018
Elise Daniells, Alaina Matthews and Logan Dell’Acqua rehearse for DePauw Opera’s production of “The Marriage of Figaro.” Guest directed by Michael Scarola and conducted by Orcenith Smith, the two-act opera opens Thursday and runs for four performances through Sunday at the Green Center for the Performing Arts.
Courtesy photo

The DePauw University School of Music will present a sumptuous period production of Mozart’s 1786 comic opera “Le nozze di Figaro” (or “The Marriage of Figaro”) in four performances this week, Thursday, March 1 through Sunday, March 4, in Moore Theatre at the Green Center for the Performing Arts.

Based on the class-conscious, 18th-century play “La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro” by Pierre Beaumarchais, with libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, the production explores the indiscretions of the aristocracy. As Mozart’s extraordinarily crafted music illuminates the story’s narrative, shameful plots, mistaken identity, humorous coincidences and guilt-ridden confessions bring the play-within-a-day to an emotional and joyful conclusion.

Guest stage director Michael Scarola, who has worked on the directing staffs of the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera and New York City Opera, has placed the work in its original 18th-century Spanish setting at the Governor of Andalusia, Count Almaviva’s castle near Seville.

“I am privileged to direct ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ as my first show here at DePauw University, having already had the good fortune to direct the other two great operas of the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy, ‘Don Giovanni’ and ‘Cosí fan tutte,’” Scarola said. “As the incredibly talented students and I delved into this production we all began to realize that, despite being composed over 200 years ago, the opera is still as relevant and revolutionary today as it was at its premiere in 1786.

“Our production adheres closely to the time period in which it was meant to be set — the late 18th century. I wanted to create a solid traditional production that the students could take with them into their professional careers. At the same time, it was important to me to show the audience how one can be faithful to the text and music, yet still be inventive and creative with the brilliant music and libretto that we’ve been given.”

Music director Orcenith Smith will conduct the DePauw Opera Orchestra in this fully staged, double-cast production, which will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

The title role of Figaro will be performed on alternate nights by baritones Thomas Speranza (Th/Sat) and Logan Dell’Acqua (Fri/Sun); sopranos Elizabeth Brunell (Th/Sat) and Amalia D.C. Crevani (Fri/Sun) will share the role of the lovely Susanna. Count Almaviva will be sung by John Cotton (Th/Sat) and David T. Mather (Fri/Sun), and sopranos Shannon Barry (Th/Sat) and Angel Riley (Fri/Sun) will sing the part of the Countess.

General admission to the opera is $10; tickets for seniors, children and all students are free. The Thursday–Saturday night performances will be presented at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday’s matinee will begin at 2 p.m. Ticket cans be obtained online at To assist patrons with purchasing tickets in person, the venue’s box office is open M-W-F from noon to 4 p.m. and 90 minutes prior to each performance.

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