Workshop brings opera experience to C-SC campus
Friday, April 29, 2011
CANTON, Mo. -- A musical tradition dating back to the 1920's continues on the campus of Culver-Stockton as the college presents its annual Opera Workshop. The workshop shares the excitement of chamber opera with school aged children through opera outreach performances. This year, Opera Workshop examines the subject of true and faithful love through the music of two chamber operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one composed when he was a child and the other when he was a mature composer.
“Bastien and Bastienne” was a present the 12-year-old Mozart composed to be performed at a garden party given by his godfather, Dr. Anton Mesmer, discoverer of animal magnetism (hence “mesmerized”). Even at this young age, Mozart was able to give the shepherdess Bastienne and her bumpkin lover Bastien music that was suitable to their characters; while the wily philosopher Colas received suave or witty melodies that reflected his education and refinement.
“Lo sposo deluso” (The Deluded Bridegroom) was never completed by Mozart; it was pieced together from Mozart operas fragments in 1956 by English composer John Coombs and further adapted for Opera Workshop by its director, Carol Mathieson. The contrived plot, which the music adorns, was typical in Mozart’s time. The self-centered young Duke Pulcherio wishes to marry the beautiful Bettina’s money but will take her as wife in the bargain. He is aided by his lawyer and henchman Bocconio; but, they are ultimately thwarted by the handsome but impoverished Almiro, who loves Bettina.
The role of Bastienne is sung by soprano Hannah Kauffmann, sophomore music education major from Festus, Mo., in the Opera Workshop 2011 production. Bastien is tenor William Cooper, freshman music education major from Sikeston, Mo.; and Colas is sung by baritone Rylan Swank, freshman music major from St. Joseph, Mo. Bettina is soprano Sarah Breyne, senior music theatre major; Almiro is tenor Levi Hudnut, freshman music education major from Lewistown, Mo.; Duke Pulcherio is mezzo-soprano Kirstin Sindelar, sophomore music theatre major from Sherrard, Ill.; and Bocconio is sung by bass-baritone Timothy Maples, sophomore musical theatre major from Chicago, Ill.
Performances of the two Mozart chamber operas will be Saturday, May 14th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 15th at 3 p.m. Both performances will be in Merillat Recital Hall inside the Campbell Auditorium on the Culver-Stockton College campus. C-SC Opera Workshop is presented by the C-SC Division of Fine Arts and the Academic and Cultural Events program. Admission is free and the public is welcome. For further information, contact Dr. Carol Mathieson, (573) 288-6435.
OTHER FEATURED ARTICLES