IUP’s Music Theater Presents Innovative and Fast-Paced Production Filled with Operatic Favorites

Posted on 4/23/2018 10:04:43 AM

Characters from "Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!"Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Music Theater will present Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!, a unique blend of music from two comic operas in one night—The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini and The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This fully staged version will feature talented singers, pianists, and a professional string quintet.  The production will run May 2–5 at 7:30 p.m. on the Waller Hall Mainstage Theater in the IUP Performing Arts Center.

IUP faculty member and Director of Opera and Music Theater Oliver Lo produced and directed this production of Figaro! Figaro! Figaro! Conductors include Joseph Baunoch and Nicholas Kloszewski. The performances feature accompaniment by a professional string quintet led by Professor Leonardo Perez with pianists Evan Engelstad and Esjoy Wong. Professor Brian Jones provided set design, and lighting design was created by Forrest Trimble.

In describing what the audience will experience, Lo remarked that there are numerous songs from the show that might be familiar to audiences even if they have never been to the opera thanks to the melodies being featured in movies, cartoons, and other forms of popular culture. “Sull’aria” (the Letter duet) played a prominent role in the movie Shawshank Redemption when the melody is played over the loudspeaker of the prison for all to hear and underscored the touching monologue of Morgan Freeman. The “Overture of the Marriage of Figaro” was used during a scene in The King’s Speech in which King George VI struggles with his stammer. Various takes on the “Barber of Seville” have been used to comic effect in cartoons such as The Simpsons and Bugs Bunny.

Lo continued, “Figaro! Figaro! Figaro! is an innovative production combining two lengthy operas into a single show. In spite of the vast length reduction, the audience will get to hear all the famous songs from both operas, including the infamous overtures, “Largo,” “Sull’aria,” and more. The dramatic progression will advance in a much faster pace. The characters are sympathetic, flesh-and-blood human beings. This ‘sitcom’ will surely provide an entertaining evening for our audience!”

Tickets for the performance are available for purchase online through the Lively Arts website or by calling the ticket hotline at 724-357-1313. They can also be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Ticket Office in Fisher Auditorium. Any seats remaining will be sold at the door starting one hour prior to the performance. Tickets are priced at $18 for regular admission, $15 for seniors, and $12 for active I-Card users and children. Online tickets are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The ticket hotline and ticket office in Fisher Auditorium are open from noon to 5:00 p.m., weekdays. The ticket office is closed for university holidays. Tickets will no longer be available at the Hadley Union Building. For more information on this and other events, as well as group tickets, call 724-357-2787 (ARTS) or e-mail lively-arts@iup.edu.

Music Theater is produced by the Department of Music and the College of Fine Arts. It is funded, in part, by the IUP Student Cooperative Association.