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Opera Traverses Cuba

by Rod Jones

Oklahoma City University’s Bass School of Music will present the Cuba-inspired opera “Don Pasquale” Nov. 20 through 22 in the Kirkpatrick Auditorium.

A 46-piece orchestra — including four on-stage guitarists and a tambourine player— will accompany a cast of 32 singers for the full production of Gaetano Donizetti’s comic opera. Director David Herendeen has reimagined the setting of the three-act opera buffa in 1950s Cuba.

Performances are 8 p.m. Nov. 20 and 21, with a 3 p.m. Nov. 22 matinee. The auditorium is at 2501 N. Blackwelder. Tickets ($12-$25) are available online at okcu.edu/tickets or by calling 405-208-5227.

The plot follows a young widow, who is to marry Ernesto, heir to a rum dynasty belonging to his uncle, Don Pasquale. In a fit of stubbornness, Pasquale decides it is not too late to marry and create a son and heir of his own, disinheriting the rebellious Ernesto. But plotting, complications and disguises ensue as a trap is sprung and the tables are turned.

Herendeen will hold a free director’s talk 45 minutes before curtain. Jan McDaniel will lead OCU’s Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company Orchestra. A Cuban-themed opening night dinner ($25) will be held at 6:15 p.m. Friday in the Bass Music Center Atrium.

The season continues in 2016 with W.A. Mozart’s operatic fantasy “The Magic Flute” Feb. 19-21; the one-act opera “Jackie O” March 4-6, with composer Michael Daughtery in residence; and the Tony Award-wining musical “Evita” by the award-winning team of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, inspired by the life and death of Argentina’s Eva Perron, April 22-24.

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