Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honor to announce Union College will be debuting her first operatic comedy, Mozart’s “The Impresario” in Woods Auditorium on Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 29 at 3:00 p.m. If you’re already excited, their final dress rehearsal is also open to the public on Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
This comedy is mostly student-led, with the exception of Union College music performance alumnus ‘16 Enrique Quezada directing the orchestra. Sophomore theatre arts major Isabella Bodden directs the play with the cast and orchestra composed of Union students and two Union professors, Dr. Kurt and Dr. Kean.
Quezada first assembled an ensemble in 2014. After they performed symphonies by Beethoven and Mozart, Quezada pondered what their next step would be. He saw the potential for an operatic piece and immediately began working to bring the idea to life.
Without spilling too many beans, allow me to explain the conundrum or plot, of “The Impresario.” An old businessman, looking to retire, is suddenly named impresario of an opera house. A retired opera singer seeks to make her comeback.An amature singer aims to make a name for herself in the opera business. Both are looking to the impresario for contracts and that’s where conflicts arise. Fortunately, a banker is willing to finance both singers, but the question becomes at what costs?
“The Impresario” sounds like a typical play, so you’re probably wondering what an operatic comedy entails that makes it different from other productions Union’s hosted in the past. In search for truth I attended one of the rehearsals and wow was I impressed. From what I could garner, an operatic comedy is essentially a play, except it includes aspects of opera as well as satirical content. In an interview with Quezada, he told me Mozart defined it as, “A comedy with music in one act.”
Or, as Quezada likes to call it, “An opera about opera. An operatic comedy.”
Mozart.com informs us that the music for “The Impresario” was, indeed, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but for what occasion? Emperor Joseph II of Vienna’s sister Marie Christine and her husband, Duke Albrecht von Sachsen-Teschen of Brussels, visited him and wanted Mozart to participate in their entertainment for the evening. Also, it was none other than Gottlieb Stephanie who aided Mozart with the script.
Now, over the years I have come to the realization that some of my friends cannot enjoy the art that is opera. Those of similar mind may be asking themselves, “Why should I go?” And for that I have an answer. Also for those who are undecided, I have the answer for you as well; the same answer.
“The Impresario” has music, with singers. These singers have some serious talent. They’re your fellow peers, too! Plus, the plot had me laughing, which is great for a study break. The entire production runs about an hour long, so you won’t procrastinate too much.
Come and spectate in awe at what is actually humanly possible with a well-trained voice. If you worry about not understanding what the singers are singing due to the elongated vowels that are characteristic of opera, fret not. A screen above the stage will display lyrics so you understand what they’re singing.
If that isn’t reason enough, then I don’t know what is.
The final dress rehearsal is open to the public on Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m. with the official showings on Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 29 at 3:00 p.m. Free admission for all, so grab a friend and I’ll see you there at Woods!
Sean Hendrix is a senior studying biomedical science.