A comic opera considered one of the most famous of the standard operatic repertoire will be performed with full orchestra Friday and Saturday at East Central University.
“The Marriage of Figaro” will begin at 8 each night in the Ataloa Theatre in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center under the direction of Dr. Melody Baggech, associate professor of music.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens and will be available at the box office beginning at 7:15 p.m. ECU students, faculty and staff will be admitted free with valid ID cards.
The classic opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte has a big cast. Baggech said she decided to present “Figaro” this year because she has all the right high-caliber students to perform it.
“It’s a long show with a lot of music,” she said. “I’m very proud of the students and I’m excited about how well it’s going.”
“The Marriage of Figaro” is a Viennese opera written in Italian, based on a French play and will be performed in English at ECU.
The plot is a continuation, after several years, of the story of “The Barber of Seville.” It occurs on a single “day of madness” in the palace of Count Almaviva in Spain.
“It’s very confusing, but it’s hilarious,” Baggech said. “The audience will die laughing. It’s very funny.”
Tim Long of Tecumseh will portray the count. The role of Countess Rosina Almaviva will be sung on Friday night by Caitlin Gray of Ada and on Saturday night by Aaron Sadler of Amarillo, Texas. Sheena Stallings of Shawnee will be Susannah, the countess’ maid. Figaro, the count’s personal valet, will be played by Jacob Stevens of McAlester.
“Figaro and Susannah are supposed to be married. It’s the morning of their wedding day,” Baggech said. “The count has designs on Susannah and wants to take Figaro’s place on their wedding night. Figaro learns about it, becomes angry and he, Susannah and the countess come up with a plot to expose his scheming.
“They trick him with a letter supposedly from the countess that says she is going to meet a lover in the garden,” Baggech explained.
In a subplot, meanwhile, two others are trying to stop the marriage. Marcelina (Casey Long of Moore) is angry because Figaro owes her money. Dr. Bartolo (Phillip Berryhill of Ada) is seeking revenge because he is in love with the countess and Figaro thwarted his plans to marry her.
“Plus, there is a teenage boy who is in love with everything that moves,” the director said. “Cherubino is comic relief throughout the opera. Susannah and the countess dress him as the “countess” to go meet the count as part of their plot against him.”
Cherubino will be portrayed by Leah Creason of Beggs on Friday night and Catie Caton of Sapulpa on Saturday night.
Other students and their roles are Nick Geisler of Little Axe as Antonio; Joseph Mohr of Sayre as Don Basilio; Chris Geisler of Little Axe as Don Curzio; Chalie Smith of Stratford as Barbarina; and Billy Snead of Atoka and Nathan Steinman of Oklahoma City as attendants.
The chorus of villagers, peasants and servants includes Danna Borntrager and Angie Brunk, Ada; Meg Stewart, Wellston; Laura Knight, Stratford; Jessy Beasley, Calvin; Ashlie Simpson and Amber Simpson, Valliant; Shaylee Standingwater, Tulsa; Christina Kushnick, Spiro; Starlet Etheridge and Zach Champagne, Tishomingo; Luke Smith, Holdenville; Josh Coats, Tecumseh; Ryan Codopony, Noble; Kaleb Gordon, Seminole; and Carson Brewer, Moore.