OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego will welcome Oswego Opera Theater back to modernized and renovated Waterman Theatre at 2 p.m. Nov. 13, with Mozart’s timeless comic opera “The Marriage of Figaro.”
Juan Francisco La Manna, the opera company’s artistic director and a music professor at SUNY Oswego, will conduct the semi-staged performance.
Comic operas such as “The Pirates of Penzance,” tragedies like “La Boheme” and “Tales of Hoffman,” and contemporary operas including Carlisle Floyd’s “Susannah” all have appeared on the Waterman Theatre stage in Oswego Opera Theater’s 39-year history.
“The Marriage of Figaro” will be presented locally for the first time.
Although it premiered in 1786 in Vienna, “Figaro” and Mozart’s other comic operas have appealed to modern audiences, because they depict the feelings of real people, not just the actions of royalty and the upper classes of 18th century Europe, as most earlier operas had, the opera company said.
The lively plot is full of intrigues, mistaken identities and a mixture of social classes.
In this version, the dialogues will be spoken in an English translation, and the songs and ensembles will be sung in the original Italian, with English subtitles.
The cast will be a combination of professional opera singers, talented college students aspiring to careers in music, and community members.
The title role of Figaro, valet to Count Almaviva, is sung by Eric McKeever, an American baritone with wide performance experience in the United States and Europe.
Susanna, maid to the Countess and betrothed to Figaro, is sung by Laura Corine Sanders, a young soprano from San Francisco, who is considered a rising star.
Kyle Pfortmiller and Laura Pfortmiller from New York City, both with stellar operatic careers, portray Count Almaviva (baritone) and Countess Almaviva (soprano).
Gayle Ross as Marcellina (soprano, housekeeper to Bartolo), Phil Eisenman as Bartolo (bass, a doctor) and SUNY Oswego graduate Daniel Williams as Antonio (bass, gardener) are active in professional music in Central New York.
Todd Graber (tenor, Don Basilio, music master) has had extensive experience as a recitalist and opera singer and currently chairs the college’s music department.
Sharing the stage are three SUNY Oswego students:
Angela Russell (mezzosoprano appearing as Cherubino, the Count’s page), a senior music major from Richmond, Massachusetts; Claire Beshures (soprano as Barbarina, daughter of Antonio, soprano), a sophomore majoring in meteorology; and Cameron Caruso (tenor as Don Curzio, magistrate, tenor), a music major from Oswego.
Mihoko Tsutsumi, director of choral activities at the college, will conduct the Youth Choir of 9th to 12th grade students from the local Youth Conservatory in the chorus of peasants.
The orchestra consists of players from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, the Oswego community and SUNY Oswego, including faculty members Ahreum Kim, Deb Farden and Terry Caviness.
Tickets ($25; $20 for seniors ages 62 and over) are available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at [email protected] or by calling 3-15-312-2141.
Parking is included in the price of a ticket and is available in the employee lot in front of Culkin Hall and the commuter and employee lots behind Hart and Funnelle residence halls.