Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pine Mountain Music Festival to present Mozart opera

HANCOCK -- Pine Mountain Music Festival presents Mozart’s great opera Così fan tutte  at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 21, at the historic Calumet Theatre. The opera is a masterpiece of comic invention and dramatic detail. The alternative title, The School for Lovers (La scuola degli amanti), is perhaps a more precise description of the opera -- four naïve young lovers trying to understand and figure out the nature of love and relationships.

Martin Bakari and Jacqueline Shoda-Iwasaki in Così fan tutte. (Photo © Joe Kirkish and courtesy Pine Mountain Music Festival)

Two young men disguise themselves to test their lovers’ fidelity, but what starts out as fun and games turns into something no one quite bargained for. The mischief makers, Don Alfonso and Despina, two characters with a little more experience, lead the young lovers through the opera, imparting their worldly advice and cynical points of view.

Tickets are $30 for adults or $10 for students and are available at Michigan Tech Ticketing Services (located at the Michigan Tech Student Development Complex), or by calling 877-746-3999.  Tickets are also available at the Calumet Theatre Box Office and at the door. There will be a free pre-opera talk one hour before the performance.

The opera will be sung in Italian, with English surtitles above the stage. Così fan tutte will also be performed at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, at the Vulcan Performing Arts Center in Norway and at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, at Kaufman Auditorium in Marquette.

The singers for Così fan tutte will be the festival's six Resident Opera Artists. A chorus composed of local singers from the Keweenaw area will round out the cast for this dramatic and popular opera. The opera will be conducted by the remarkable Joseph Mechavich (Il matrimonio segreto 2010) and directed by Artistic Director, Joshua Major.  Mr. Mechavich will present a pre-opera talk one hour before performance.

Claire Shackleton and Alex DeSocio in Così fan tutte. (Photo © Joe Kirkish and courtesy Pine Mountain Music Festival)

Mezzo-soprano Claire Shackleton performs the role of Dorabella while the role of Fiordiligi is sung by soprano Jacqueline Shoda-Iwasaki. Singing the parts of the two fiancés are tenor Martin Bakari as Ferrando and baritone Alex DeSocio as Guglielmo.   Completing the cast is Julie Tabash as Despina, the maid, and Jonathan Christopher as Don Alfonso. All six Resident Opera Artists will also perform in A Little Night Music in July.   

This production is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Pine Mountain Music Festival presents a season of opera, classical and popular music each June-July in the Dickinson County area, the Marquette area, the Keweenaw Peninsula, and in other towns in the Upper Peninsula. Headquartered in Hancock, Michigan, it is supported by donations, ticket sales and grants. Visit the web at www.pmmf.org or call 888-309-7861 for more information.