Monday, April 16, 2012

Musical {Opera Edition}

Ok, ok... I know there is a major difference between a musical and a opera, but I really wanted to share with you the opera that has taken over my life! This entire semester, I have been helping out with a local opera as stage manager (more headache then I was expecting)! That is why I have been almost nonexistent the past two week, and because I was trying not to get blown away by a tornado - thank you Oklahoma.

I got tied up in this opera for a few different reasons: the school I graduated from is the host, the man I take voice lessons from is the music director, and my lovely boyfriend is in the cast. I was obviously destined to commit three days a week to this show for the entire semester. But as exhausted as I am, I have had a lot of fun. I never thought I would enjoy an opera, but this particular one is quite humorous. So, if you ever really want to check out an opera, I suggest The Barber of Seville!

This is our particular poster for the show, obviously!

If you have ever heard the famous lines "Figaro... Figaro... Figaro... Figaro... Figaro... Figaro... Figaro... Figaro... Figaro... Figaro!!!," then you have heard something from The Barber of Seville. The opera is by Gioachino Rossini and it originally premeried in 1816. It is one of the earliest Italian operas to be performed in American, and after 200 years it's popularity is still evident on the modern stage. It is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of comedy within music (I stole most of this info - yeah from wikipedia, don't judge).  

The opera was originally done in Italian, but since then, many versions have surfaced - English being one of them. Our particular production is done in English, which is good because an opera is already hard enough to follow! The show follows the attempts of Count Almaviva trying to win the heart of the beautiful, Rosina (who is also the love interest of Dr. Bartolo, her guardian). With the help of Figaro, the local barber, the Count takes on multiple disguises in order to be around Rosina, but risking to be caught by Dr. Bartolo at the same time. Rosina despises Dr. Bartolo and wishes to marry the Count, but no love story could be that easy! So, the opera humorously captures the efforts of Figero and the Count as they try to trick Bartolo and steal Rosina's affection.

That is just a brief break down of the show, but of course, it is so much more then I could say in one short paragraph. I didn't even mention my boyfriend's role in the show. He plays a slimy, greedy "creep" (as we like to call him)! His character is Basilio, which is a friend of Dr. Bartolo. He is going to hate me, but look at this wig he has to wear - bahahaha! Sorry, sweetheart :) I have been calling him Gaston for a couple week now! 

How embarrassing is this picture?! I may get broke up with!
There are way to many songs to break down for you (since it is an opera), which if you don't know, an opera is straight music all the way through. Our production has roughly thirty-eight songs, but we had to cut some of the music. However, my personal favorites are "Largo al Factotum" or "I am the Barber of Seville", which is Figaro's opening aria (this is where "figaro, figaro.... comes from); "Let Me Teach You the Art of Slander" sung by Basilio; "Hey, You People" sung by the Count disguised as a drunken soldier; "Rigid and Motionless" sung by entire cast; and "Heaven Bless You, Now and Ever" sung by the Count, disguised as a music teacher, and Dr. Bartolo. There are different titles and versions of all these songs, so if you've heard it called something else, we are probably both right!

I know this is a little different then what I usually do, but I wanted to introduce you to my life the past few months! I doubt this will be a big "must see" among my readers, but if you have ever wanted to try an opera, I would suggest this one!  Make sure you go see it in English, unless you just happen to know Italian :) If you are in the Oklahoma City area and want to check our production out, email me and I will get you details! 

Oh, and I found this cute little clip on youtube, I thought some of you might like. Woody is singing the original version in Italian, hehe! 

Final synopsis: musical lovers, give opera a chance :) I wasn't disappointed! 

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