Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Music will present Mozart’s comic masterpiece “Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)” Friday, Jan. 29, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 31, at 3 p.m. in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at the River Campus.
Face coverings will be required, and social distancing guidelines will be in place. Due to capacity limits, patrons are encouraged to reserve their seats early.
The Department of Music’s production explores if life imitates art, or does art imitate life, in this updated version of one of the most popular operas ever written, while taking into account all the complications of 2020.
In this show the boss, Count Almaviva, is foisting unwanted amorous attentions on his wife’s maid-servant, Susanna, who is engaged to Figaro. Over the course of the wedding day, Figaro, Susanna, and the Countess work through several plans to try to catch the Count in a compromising position, proving his infidelity. However, each scheme is foiled by the Count, or meddling servants and friends, or a hormonal teenage boy who seems to be attracted to everyone.
“Mozart’s beautifully expressive and captivating music illustrates the emotions of these flawed humans so effectively that the play works in any time period and place,” said Dr. Christopher Goeke, professor of music at Southeast. “Mozart and librettist Da Ponte created a timeless masterpiece dealing with these human foibles. In a light-hearted way they put a spotlight on a serious subject.”
In order to incorporate safety procedures into rehearsals and performances, the show has been updated and shortened by changing the recitative sections to English dialogue and making some judicious cuts. Mozart’s glorious music will be sung in the original Italian. Performers will wear face coverings, will be socially distanced on stage, and will perform to a specially arranged accompaniment track.
“Art imitating Life? This production certainly falls into that category,” Goeke said. “And, in these tumultuous times, we should be so lucky as to have Life imitate the Art expressed in ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ – if all could be as forgiving as the Countess, as true and loyal as Susanna, and as persistent as Figaro in pursuing life, truth, and happiness.”
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at RiverCampus.org.