CSU Stages Marriage of Figaro Opera June 1, 3

A video look behind the scenes  


The Mozart opera is regarded as “a timeless classic of romance, comedy and moral teaching that has delighted audiences worldwide for more than 200 years,” said CSU Associate Professor and Director of Opera Activities Joseph Golden. “Its lessons about life are as relevant today as they were at its premiere.”

The fully staged production will be sung in English with 18th-century period sets and costumes. CSU voice students will sing all roles, guided by guest stage director Judith Auer, who has served the past five summers on the artistic faculty of Italy’s Opera Festival di Roma. A professional orchestra will be conducted by CSU Professor Constantina Tsolainou, the Paul S. and Jean R. Amos Faculty Chair in Music and Director of Choral Activities.

The opera, based on the 1784 play “La Folle Journée” (sequel to “The Barber of Seville”), is a story of mistaken identity, recounting a single “mad” day the palace of Count Almaviva.

Mozart’s adaptation of the story is now regarded as a cornerstone of the standard operatic repertoire and frequently termed “the perfect opera,” said Golden. “It boasts six of the most famous arias in the entire opera repertoire, and two of its large ensembles are the most celebrated and admired creations in that style.”

Such an opera, perhaps daunting for a university production, is under the capable direction of Auer, who currently works as a freelance opera director out of Boulder, Colo. “Dr. Auer brings a wealth of experience to this exciting production with a prolific career in opera throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States as a performer, director and voice instructor,” said Golden.

At CSU, she is working with perhaps the nation’s best young singer — Michael Sumuel — in the lead role as Figaro. The graduating senior from Odessa, Texas, recently won the Music Teachers National Association Voice Competition. The rest of the cast is:

• Trey McLaughlin, junior - Count Almaviva
• Hannah Massie, junior - Susannah (double cast)
• Carrie Beth Barnett, sophomore - Susannah (double cast)
• Gwendolyn Reid, senior - Cherubino
• Brittany Bethel, senior - Marcellina
• Preston Hicks, junior - Dr. Bartolo
• Anita Purcell, sophomore - Barbarina
• Kenneth Grant, freshman - Antonio
• Rodney Long, freshman - Don Curzio

Admission is $10 or $20 for reserved seating and discounts are available for military personnel and senior citizens. Free tickets are available for CSU faculty and staff (limit two) and students (limit one) with university ID. For tickets, call the RiverCenter Box Office at 706-256-3600. For more information on the production, call 706-649-1986.