FSU's Department of Music to Present Potpourri of Operatic Scenes for Spring Opera Theatre Performance

April 24, 2017 - April 25, 2017

The Frostburg State University Department of Music Opera Workshop will present a potpourri of famous operatic scenes from Georges Bizet's "Carmen," Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" and George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" for its opera theatre concert on Monday, April 24, and Tuesday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pealer Recital Hall of FSU's Performing Arts Center. This event is free and open to the public.Directed by Victoria Browers, the performance will feature sopranos Marse Romero and Kayla Elsaesser, mezzo-soprano Pateley Bongiorni, tenors Gabriel Harper and David Cook, and baritone Khalil Bishop. Joesph Yungen will accompany the group on piano."Carmen" was first performed in Paris in 1875, where its breaking of conventions shocked and scandalized its first audiences, but has since become one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the classical canon. It was written in the genre of opera comique with musical numbers separated by dialogue. Set in southern Spain, "Carmen" tells the story of the downfall of Don Jose, a naive soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen. Jose abandons his childhood sweetheart and deserts from his military duties, yet loses Carmen's love to the glamorous toreador Escamillo, after which Jose kills her in a jealous rage. The depictions of proletarian life, immorality and lawlessness, and the tragic death of the main character on stage broke new ground in French opera and were highly controversial.Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti" ("Thus Do They All, or the School for Lovers," often translated into English as "Women Are Like That") is an Italian-language comic opera in two acts that was first performed in Vienna in 1790. The libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte. Mozart and Da Ponte use the theme of "fiancee swapping," which dates back to the 13th century; elements from Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" are also present as well as elements of the myth of Procris as found in Ovid's "Metamorphoses." "Cosi fan tutte" revolves around a bet made among three men: Don Alfonso, the older and more cynical of the bunch, bets Ferrando and Guglielmo that he can prove that their girlfriends, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, are unfaithful like all women. The subject matter did not offend Viennese sensibilities of the time, but throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was considered risque, vulgar and even immoral. The opera was rarely performed until after World War II, when it regained its place in the standard operatic repertoire."Porgy and Bess" is an English-language opera composed in 1934 by Gershwin, with a libretto written by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin from Heyward's novel "Porgy" and later play of the same title. It tells the story of Porgy, a disabled street-beggar living in the slums of Charleston, S.C., and deals with his attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches of Crown, her violent and possessive lover, and Sportin' Life, her drug dealer. The opera was first performed in Boston in 1935 and featured an entire cast of classically trained African-American singers - a daring artistic choice at the time. After suffering from an initially unpopular public reception due in part to its racially charged theme, later "Porgy and Bess" gained new popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed operas.All selections will be performed in English.For more information, contact the Department of Music at 301-687-4109 or visit www.frostburg.edu/concerts. Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.