Tracker Pixel for Entry

​NDSU updates ‘The Marriage of Figaro’

by John Showalter | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Theatre | February 15th, 2017

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: the Viennese musical prodigy is a household name with a prolific catalogue of work. Even to those largely unfamiliar with classical music his name calls up musical genius, Einstein with music. During his relatively short life he penned dozens of symphonies and concertos and scored several operas, both comic and tragic.

The production of “The Marriage of Figaro,” performed by students of North Dakota State University, is a classic example of romantic comedy and one of the world’s most performed operas. NDSU professor of music and show conductor Virginia Sublett was kind enough to grant me an interview about the upcoming show on the evening of Friday, February 17th and the afternoon of Sunday, February 19th at the NDSU Festival Concert Hall.

“The Marriage of Figaro” is easily one of the most famous comedic operas. The libretto features many tropes of the romantic comedy, including slapstick and mistaken identities, but it ultimately also has heart. “It’s a story of forgiveness,” Sublett said, though the pathos is lightened with comedy. “It’s about the interpersonal relationships between a man and his wife and two of their servants and the rest of the household.

The story involves the Count and Countess of Seville. The Count is a philanderer, which causes much grief for his wife. His most recent scheme is to delay the marriage of one of his servants, Figaro, to another servant named Susanna in order to exercise his “right to the first night” (droit du seigneur) as Count so he can bed Susanna himself. Ultimately, the servants and Countess work together to trick and expose the Count’s womanizing ways.

Where this particular production differs somewhat from other productions of “Figaro” is that the action, while still set in a castle in Seville, Spain, is now taking place during the “summer of love” era in 1967 and 1968.

Also, instead of the libretto being performed in the original Italian, the cast will be singing an English translation. Some opera connoisseurs might consider performing an opera in any other language than that in which it was written as sacrilege, but Sublett stood by the decision and made a strong argument for having the production sung in English.

“It’s important in opera to understand the story immediately instead of reading a synopsis or supertitles. With comedy it’s important for the audience to get the jokes.” She stressed that she believed that the language could create a “veil” between the actors and the audience. She also pointed out how some opera houses in Germany will perform operas translated into German and still bring in the audiences and do justice to the material.

“There are good English translations out there that don’t do violence to the music.” About four or five years ago NDSU held an English-language production of another one of Mozart’s famous operas, “The Magic Flute,” which was originally in German. Ultimately, she argued that this helps your average audience develop more of an emotional investment. “It treats it as theatre instead of a museum piece.”

This production of “The Marriage of Figaro” is not only conducted by Sublett, but also brought in a guest stage director, Walker Lewis from the state of New York. The entire cast of the opera is performed by students in NDSU’s music program, ranging from freshmen though students pursuing their master’s degrees. The performing orchestra is about half-and-half, comprised of both current students at NDSU and professional string and wind players from the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra. “I hope people come out and see it. I think they will really enjoy it,” Sublett said.

If you are looking for some entertainment this coming weekend, it would be hard to go wrong with NDSU’s production of Mozart’s operatic classic. Whether you plan on bringing a date to this classic romantic comedy or going solo, you will be supporting current and future musicians as well as enjoying a comedy that touches on the mysterious and always resonant ways of the heart.

IF YOU GO

NDSU Opera: The Marriage of Figaro

Friday, February 17, 7:30pm; Sunday, February 19, 2pm

Festival Concert Hall, 1511 12th Ave N, Fargo



Recently in:

FARGO - Barking dogs don’t bite, but they’re noisy and excitable. The day Zebediah Gartner, an Anishinaabe from Fargo, was released from Cass County Jail after being pulled from a sweat lodge by Fargo police, the “dogs”…

Photos provided by Kensie WallnerRound 1: Rye WhiskeyThe 75 Delmonte (whisky sour; tiki twist) 2 hollowed pineapples, save top for garnishment8oz Woodford Reserve Rye2oz Zaya Rum8oz pineapple juice8oz lemon juice2oz red…

Thursday, March 2, 7-9 p.m.Harry D. McGovern Alumni Center, 1241 University Dr. N., FargoFree and open to the public. No RSVP required.Music by Cat Sank Trio, The event features the official book launch for six of the most recent…

Citizens and voters, including Republicans, are upset by the the first month of the present administration. Republican leaders advised congresspeople to hold town hall meetings during the week-long Presidents Day recess.Molly K.…

North Dakota bigotry, a national one-week strike, and plutocratic plunderingFirst, a rant about the Republican North Dakota Legislature. There’s no doubt there are about 70,000 North Dakotans you consider to be second-class…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

All About Food

​Farm to table

by Elizabeth K. Neshem

Meat production in the United States is reaching record highs, making many items in grocery stores more readily available to consumers.Agricultural producers are conscious of the unpredictability in prices for their commodities.…

Music

​Band of brothers

by Sabrina Hornung

As youths, members of the punk-country band Lucero cultivated their love of music at the neighborhood haunt known as The Antenna Club, which was known to host matinee hardcore shows. But in a city like Memphis, home of the iconic…

A virtually critic-proof three-ring circus of toy-based programming and winking self-reference guaranteed to give even the most devoted admirer whiplash, “The Lego Batman Movie” duplicates some of the charm of its 2014 Phil…

On February 24- 25, Unglued Craft Fest returns to the Plains Art Museum in Fargo for its 7th annual event, to give us all a chance to see, touch, enjoy and purchase items from local, regional and national makers while enjoying…

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: the Viennese musical prodigy is a household name with a prolific catalogue of work. Even to those largely unfamiliar with classical music his name calls up musical genius, Einstein with music. During his…

Humor

What is acceptable comedy?

by HPR Contributor

By Bill LucasYou may wonder about the title. Whenever we hear someone’s opinion I think it is important to know a little about them. We all are offended by many things that are due to our experiences in life. We may be able to…

When an opportunity to meet, dine and drink wine with a winemaker of Nick Goldschmidt’s stature was presented to me, I just had to seize it without hesitation and book a Valentine’s Day Dinner at The Boiler Room. I had briefly…

On May 26 of last year cell phone use was directly linked to cancer. Our Government’s National Toxicology Program (NTP), part of the National Institute of Health, released a preliminary report stating, “Two types of cancer were…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

“The most complete and happy victory is this; to compel one’s enemy to give up his purpose, while suffering no harm oneself.” -Belisarius“I view the United States of these last years of the twentieth century as essentially…