Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
Reporter: Robin Haislett
PORTALES — The Eastern New Mexico University Department of Music will present “Opera Scenes: The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville” on Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Campus Union Ballroom on the Portales campus.
Jason Vest, assistant professor of music, says The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville are two of the most popular and performed operas in the world and are entertaining comedies that address issues relevant to current society.
When the plays were first performed in 1784 as part of a trilogy, the nobility and upper class were often the fools of the plays, which caused controversy. Vest wants to show the audience how a performance written in the 18th century still applies today.
“In fact, instead of the traditional setting of the 18th century, the characters will be updated to the 21st century, complete with business attire, cell phones, and computers,” says Vest. “We are setting the operas in the present day and our audience should have no problem recognizing that these stories are very relevant today.”
Vest explains the concept of a recitative delivery for opera as dialogue set to music is “like speaking on notes without the constraints of a song. This allows the singers the freedom to tell the story and express things the way they want.” The operas will be performed in Italian with English translations projected over the stage.
Vest says the audience may be surprised at how easily they understand the performances and the humor. “There will be no fat lady singing with horns and a sword,” jokes Vest.
The performers will present almost half of each opera which, according to Vest, allows the singers to get more of the experience of performing a full opera role.
Tickets for the show are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for students, and $5 for ENMU students with an ID. Tickets may be purchased ahead of time, but will also be available at the door.
For more information, contact Jason Vest at 575-562-2371 or Kathi Fraze at 575-562-2377.