First Congregational Church
4515 SW West Hills Blvd.
At the Door: $10 adults,
Free for OSU students with ID.
OSU Music, OSU Theatre, and Friends of OSU Opera present
March Madness & Magical Spaces
7:30 PM, Saturday
March 2, 2013
The performance features extended scenes from Orpheus and Eurydice by Gluck and A Midsummer Night's Dream by Benjamin Britten, with a libretto adapted from the Shakespeare play. Rounding out the program is riotous sextet from Cosi fan tutte by Mozart.
The first magical space is Hades, the underworld of Greek mythology. Eurydice, the wife of the fabled musician Orpheus, has died tragically. Grief stricken, Orpheus vows to find his way to the underworld and bring Eurydice back. Amor, the god of love, pledges him protection on the condition that Orpheus and Eurydice not look at each other during their return journey. With the power of music as his weapon, Orpheus fights his way into Hades, finally reaching the blissful Elysian Fields, where he finds his wife. Unaware of the strict condition that Amor has imposed on Orpheus, Eurydice, at first overjoyed to be with her husband again, soon becomes distraught over his refusal to look her in the eyes. She fears she may return to the mortal world only to face a life of cold silences and emotional distance.
The next magical space, the setting for A Midsummer Night's Dream, is a forest near Athens where the mortals who wander there soon find their lives entangled with the feuds and whims of the resident fairies. Oberon, King of the Fairies, quarrels with his wife, Tytania, because she has refused to give up a servant boy he covets for his own entourage. In revenge, Oberon finds Tytania asleep and daubs her eyes with the essence of a flower that will make her fall in love with the first wild thing she sees when she awakes. And so, the stage is set for one of the most improbable love scenes in all theatre.
The third space may or may not be magical, but it is one that continually compels our interest: the arena of the battle of the sexes. The cynical bachelor Don Alfonso bets two young friends, the soldiers Ferrando and Guglielmo, that if they follow his instructions for just one day, he can prove their girlfriends unfaithful. Confident that their sweethearts, Dorabella and Fiordiligi, will fight off any assault on their virtue, the soldiers readily accept the older man's wager. Alfonso begins his machinations by having the men pretend they have been called away to battle. Not long after Ferrando and Guglielmo have bid their ladies farewell, two outlandish new suitors appear on the scene. Dorabella and Fiordiligi, do not recognize their boyfriends in disguise.
Making their first appearances with the OSU Opera are musical director Chris Chapman and pianist Rachelle McCabe. The stage director is Richard Poppino. Costumes are designed by the OSU Vocal Studies/Opera Intern Laurel Mehaffey, who also appears in Orpheus and Eurydice and A Midsummer Night's Dream.