Opera Company's Double Bill,
Metroplex Opera Company Presents
A Double Bill
Serva Padrona & The Impresario
This summer, the Metroplex Opera Company presented its production of two famous comic operas, Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona in Italian, and Mozart's The Impresario in English.
This charming double bill was presented on Friday, June 11 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, June 13 at 2:30 pm, at the Courtyard Theatre of Plano.
MOC Music Director, Dr. Beau Benson, SMU, has adapted and updated the story of The Impresario, and prepared performing editions of both operas. Dr. Benson will conduct both operas at all performances.
The cast for each opera is as follows:
For La Serva Padrona:
For The Impresario:
In addition to our wonderful cast of local singers, MOC is thrilled to have for the first time Donna Mitchell-Cox, who is a voice teacher at OU, and Stacey Weber from Houston.
The performances will be fully staged, in costume, and accompanied by a live orchestra.
The Courtyard Theater is a performing arts venue in the Haggard Park Historic District. Built in 1938 as a project of the Works Project Administration, the Courtyard Theater was formerly known as the Cox Gymnasium. The Courtyard Theater is located at 1509 H Avenue, Plano, TX 75074 - (972) 941-5600.
Metroplex Opera Company Scores a Hit
By Ed Flaspoehler, Wagner Society of Dallas
I attended the Metroplex Opera Company’s double bill of Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona and Mozart’s The Impresario Friday night, at the Courtyard Theater of Plano. I was delighted.
For her two operas, MOC Artistic Director, Ann Petty, has assembled a fine cast of young and mostly local singers who bring these two great comedic masterpieces to life.
Opening the evening was La Serva Padrona. Pergolesi’s popular Intermezzo in Two Parts is a comic gem. The story is slender but the jokes are long.
In fine Italian opera tradition, grumpy old bachelor Uberto (bass-baritone Christopher Harrison) has been grumbling about his disrespectful maid, Serpina (soprano Katrina Galka), to his servant Vespone (Kyle Hancock). Uberto, it seems, wants to take a wife, and Serpina wants the job! You won’t believe all the things she and Vespone cook up to trick him into popping the question.
This charming work, with only two singers and an actor, and accompanied by a string orchestra, is justly famous for its appealing music and timeless humor, and stands on its own merits. La Serva Padrona has not been done locally for a long time. It definitely deserves a hearing.
The Metroplex Opera's production of Mozart’s The Impresario, with a bigger cast and expanded orchestra, is a more ambitious undertaking. The opera is done in English in a new, updated version concocted by MOC Music Director, Beau Benson, in the spirit of Mozart’s original German libretto.
This 21st century rendition of the opera opens with Mr. Frank (Terry Abshire) and his assistant, Mr. Vogel (Jonathan Morales) bemoaning their lack of funds and the pitiful state of modern-day musicians and singers. They soon begin to work out the day's audition-schedule for the company. What follows is a delightful comedy of errors replete with misunderstandings, threats and diva-esque conflicts.
First up is Madame Smith (Donna Mitchell-Cox), an aspiring young professional who proceeds to sing "Ach, Ich Fuhls", from The Magic Flute to great acclaim.
She is followed by Madame Green, who shows herself in, saying, "I could not find the key, and I did not know when to enter, but here I am." Madame Green is an oblivious but kind-hearted elderly mezzo soprano who wants to sing Cherubino.
Next is Madame Alt (Ann Petty), a self-important, has-been soprano, and Miss Meckern (Stacy Weber), a sassy, younger diva who is the avowed rival of Madame Alt. Animosity and competition is thus ignited when these two encounter each other at the same audition.
And when Mr. Teufel (Kyle Hancock) threatens to ruin the opera company itself unless Mr. Frank hires BOTH of his protégées, things go from bad to worse, even as Vogel vainly attempts to keep things civil between the dueling divas.
You won’t want to miss The Impresario. While the humor is occasionally cutting, the audition scenes are quite funny, and the music is delightful. The singers are nothing short of impressive - MOC has assembled a cast of performers who have fine musical training, exceptional talent and carefully honed comic delivery.
This performance is accompanied by an orchestra of mostly college students from SMU, but they played so well under the leadership of Beau Benson, you would think you were listening to professional musicians.
The venue itself, The Courtyard Theater of Plano, is a nice surprise~attractive, comfortable and accessible, and with a great acoustic that flatters both the singers and the players in the pit.
In short, whether you're an opera-buff or not, this is the perfect way to spend an hour or two on a hot Texas summer afternoon, indoors in the A/C listening to wonderful music by Mozart and Pergolesi and having a good belly-laugh.
Metroplex Opera Company, Inc.