FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 06
A revolving stage, a cast of two dozen, and a full orchestra will bring Mozart’s romantic comedy “The Marriage of Figaro” to life at Oklahoma City University Feb. 20-22.
“This is a great Valentine’s present, and a great first opera,” said director David Herendeen. “Grab a smooch of Figaro! It’s in English, very fun, very bouncy, great melodies, great scenes. It all takes place in one day, and is as close to real time as opera gets. It’s a whirlwind of a day, and the set whirls with it.”
Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a 3 p.m. Sunday matinee in Kirkpatrick Auditorium on the OCU campus, NW 25th Street and Blackwelder. Tickets ($12-$25) are available at 405.208.5227. Herendeen will give a free director’s talk 45 minutes before curtain.
“The Marriage of Figaro” is set three years after the events of Mozart’s earlier hit, “The Barber of Seville.” Figaro has entered into count Almaviva's service as valet. Figaro is engaged to Suzanne, chambermaid of the countess. When the bored count wants to take advantage of the young bride-to-be and makes advances towards Suzanne, she tells Figaro and the Countess. The three hatch a conspiracy to trip up the count and ensure a happy ending.
“His naughtiness is thwarted by the alignment of his wife, her maid, the maid’s fiance, a young aristocratic boy, and the gardener,” Herendeen said. “It has its comic moments and its sincere moments. It’s a huge situation comedy, before television.”
The work was so popular during its original performances in Vienna that the Austrian emperor outlawed encores, as they had become too time-consuming.
“What I think is interesting is that the DNA of American music theater is apparent. The connections are very clear.”
At 6:15 p.m. Friday, an opening night dinner will be held in the Atrium of the Bass Music Center, hosted by Mark Parker, dean of the Bass School of Music. The menu is char-grilled chicken breast with artichokes, spinach and mustard sauce; roasted vegetable and Parmesan couscous; fresh-baked rolls; tarragon green beans; and a choice of apple tart ta tan or caramel pecan cheesecake. Reservations ($20) may be made at 405.208.5227.