The University of Manitoba Opera Theatre will present an evening of opera excerpts performed by students from the Desautels Faculty of Music.
March 7 and 8, 2014, 8 p.m.
Gas Station Arts Centre, 445 River Ave.
$15, $10 for students. They are available at the door, or at the Faculty.
L'Egisto by Francesco Cavalli
Dawn breaks as Aurora welcomes the new day. She celebrates the energy of nature that creates such a beautiful atmosphere. Woken by this sun, Clori is immediately drawn out of her slumber and towards her new-found lover, Lidio. They lather each other with all of the proclamations of enrapturing new love until they hear Clori's previous lover, Egisto, muttering in his sleep. This spoils the mood and leaves Clori defending herself against Lidio's jealous accusations. Clori leaves, dismissing these egregious mumblings, and Lidio follows her, complaining how all good things end in trouble. Finally noticing the risen sun, Climene, Lidio's fiancée, awakens and urges her companion Egisto to do the same. Hearing his disturbed sleep-talk as he wakes up, she asks him what has bothered him so much. He recalls envisioning a tryst between his lover Clori and another man. Climene assures him that they will seek her out after they return to her palace. Walking through the forest, they notice love messages to Lidio from Clori engraved on every tree and, realizing that their lovers have betrayed them for each other, vow revenge on the offenders. Bellezza and Volupia, servants of Venus, arrive after the mortals leave and announce the important role they have in regards to love. Delighting in the beauty and pleasure of the world, they are soon joined by Cupid who affirms his traditional image as a nude, blind little boy who wounds mortals with the love from his bow and arrows. The two ladies join in with his boasting about the power of his position when Venus enters in a sorrowful state. Upset by seemingly outdated new, Venus laments that Egisto, who has escaped her bonds of servitude, has been pursuing the love of Clori and the god of love cannot allow this to happen. Cupid replies with a “not on my watch” and they all celebrate his assumed success.
Don Giovanni by W.A. Mozart
Leporello doesn’t want to be Don Giovanni’s servant anymore but Don Giovanni is able to persuade him to change his mind with the help of a few coins. When Leporello tries to persuade him to give up women, Don Giovanni replies that this would be like asking him to stop breathing. They exchange clothes so that Don Giovanni can seduce Donna Elivra’s maid in disguise, after they play a trick on Donna Elvira herself. She is still infatuated with Don Giovanni and believes his promises of love. She is fooled by the disguised Leporello and goes off with him, thinking Don Giovanni has returned to her. This leaves Don Giovanni alone to serenade her maid but he is interrupted by Masetto and his wedding party. Earlier Don Giovanni had interrupted the wedding and tried to seduce the bride so Masetto is looking for revenge. Unfortunately for him, he is the one who ends up bruised and beaten, but his bride Zerlina finds him and promises that she can heal his wounds. After they leave, Leporello returns, trying to escape from Donna Elvira. Don Ottavio and Donna Anna arrive, also looking for revenge and also fooled by the disguise. They are soon joined by Masetto and Zerlina. Donna Elvira begs them to take pity on “Don Giovanni” but the others refuse. Leporello realises that his life is in danger and removes the disguise, leaving the others shocked and confused.
Dialogues of the Carmelites by Francis Poulenc
Blanche de la Force has entered a convent to escape the world, which causes her terrible anxiety. The revolution is raging and members of religious orders are being persecuted. Blanche’s brother arrives to ask her to return to their father, who fears for her safety. In their meeting, he finds her distant and unwelcoming. Blanche tells him that this is only because she is not yet used to being as happy and free as she is in the convent. He accuses her of using the church to hide from her own personal fears. He leaves to join the military and Blanche confesses to Mère Marie that she was sinfully proud in wanting her brother to see her as more than the scared little rabbit she used to be. In the next scene, the Priest holds communion for the last time. He has been relieved of his responsibilities and must go into exile. He returns shortly to hide until the crowd passes. Two officials of the revolution arrive and announce that all places of worship are to be evacuated. One of the officials confesses that he is not as bad as all the others and that he used to be an altar boy. He tells Mère Marie the safest way to leave. This is the beginning of the end for the sisters of Carmel. Blanche is handed a replica of the infant Jesus to help give her courage. She drops it when she is startled by the shouting of the crowd and is now even more afraid. Later in the opera she will rise above her fear in order to join her sisters in the greatest sacrifice of all.
Eugene Onegin by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
It’s harvest time on the Larina estates. Madame Larina reflects on the past with her servant Filipyevna while listening to her daughters Olga and Tatyana sing an old folk song. Olga is outgoing and loves to sing and dance, while Tatyana prefers to read and daydream. The field workers finish their day and approach the house singing a song to celebrate the end of harvest. Lenski, Olga’s fiancé and Onegin, his new neighbour arrive. Tatyana sees Onegin as a hero from one of her novels and falls in love with him.