Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 27, 2014


'Figaro' production set to premiere Friday

Goshen News

---- — GOSHEN

Disguises, cross-dressing, mistaken identities and people jumping out of windows are all par for the course in Mozart’s energetic, light-hearted romp through the day of a wedding ceremony.

The Goshen College theater and music departments will collaborate to present the composer’s comic opera “The Marriage of Figaro” in Umble Center Friday and Saturday and April 4 at 8 p.m., and Sunday and April 6 at 3 p.m.

Raising the issues of power, privilege, class conflict, love and friendship, this fully staged 18th century comic opera, sung in both English and Italian (fully captioned), is set in 21st century New York City.

“We’ve tried to make it as current-day as possible, with the addition of cell phones and TV screens to the set and character interplay,” said Deb Brubaker, professor of music and stage director for the opera. “The societal situation at that time is strikingly similar to what is happening in the world today — political structures continue to benefit the upper classes. For this reason, we have chosen to set the play in modern-day New York City, as opposed to Seville, Spain, to highlight how even today, society is still wrestling with old issues.”

“The Marriage of Figaro” continues the plot of “The Barber of Seville” several years later, and recounts a single “day of madness” (la folle giornata) in the palace of the Count Almaviva. Having given Figaro a job as head of his servant-staff, Almaviva is now persistently trying to obtain the favors of Figaro’s bride-to-be, Susanna. He keeps finding excuses to delay the civil part of the wedding of his two servants, which is arranged for that very day.

Figaro, Susanna and the Countess conspire to embarrass the Count and expose his scheming. He responds by trying to compel Figaro legally to marry a woman old enough to be his mother, but it turns out at the last minute that she is really his mother. Through Figaro’s and Susanna’s clever manipulations, the Count’s love for his Countess is finally restored.

“Whether this is the first time to an opera or 50th, the audience will enjoy Mozart’s infectiously playful music, which changes on a dime depending on the emotion of the text and which crazy character is delivering it,” said Scott Hochstetler, associate professor of music and musical director for the opera.

The cast of 11 students includes: Paul Zehr from Carthage, N.Y., as Figaro; Sadie Gustafson-Zook from Goshen as Susanna; Aaron Graber from Los Gatos, Calif., as Bartolo; Morgan Short from Goshen, as Marcellina; Rachel Mast from Corvallis, Ore., as Cherubino; Ben Ganger from Goshen as Count Almaviva; Miranda Earnhart from Milford as Countess Almaviva; Martin Flowers from Nappanee as Basilio; Esra Heisey from Goshen as Antonio; Stefan Baumgartner from Goshen as Curzio; and Cecilia Lapp Stoltzfus from Mount Rainier, Md., as Barbarina.

The chorus includes Breanna Bloom, Jim Bontrager, Brianne Brenneman, Isaiah Friesen, Bryn Godshall, Laura Hochstetler, Andrew Pauls, Malcolm Stovall, Maggie Weaver, Blake Shetler, Stefan Baumgartner, Jacob Greaser, Alisa Murray, Brody Thomas, Michael Darby and Cara Paden.

The production team includes Associate Professor of Music Scott Hochstetler, music director; Professor of Music Deb Brubaker, stage director; Andrew Moeggenborg, technical director and set designer; Assistant Professor of Theater Tamera Izlar, producer; Angie Troyer, assistant technical director; Peter Meyer-Reimer, stage manager; Ally Medelline, assistant stage manager; Riley Woods, light designer and operator; Sarah Lake-Rayburn, costume designer; Nick Peebles, sound designer; Christina Hofer, props designer; Breanna Bloom, hair and makeup designer; Brett Conrad, master carpenter; Ben Ganger, master electrician; and Robert Lerch, sound board operator.

The orchestra includes Garrett Ahlgrim (violin), Leah Amstutz (oboe), Philip Bontrager (viola), Kendall Friesen (clarinet), Stephen Graber (clarinet), Steven Ingle (bassoon), Vince Kurtz (violin), Leah Landes (trumpet), Robert Martin (bass), Reuben Ng (cello), Peter Paetkau (violin), Madeline Ruth (viola), Jacob Shetler (timpani), Sam Smucker (violin), Becky Snider (flute), Max Stauffer (cello), Jorge Abreu Toyens (violin), Wade Troyer (trumpet), Emily Vogt (horn), Ashley Westra (bassoon), Matt Wimmer (cello), Ardys Woodward (flute), Bryan Yoder (viola), Erin Yoder (horn), Josh Yoder (violin) and Madeleine Yoder (oboe).

Ticket information The ticket cost is $12 for general admission and $7 for students, senior citizens and GC employees. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.goshen.edu/tickets or through the Welcome Center at 574-535-7566 or welcomecenter@goshen.edu. Tickets can also be purchased at the Umble Center box office one hour before the show. There will be a 10-minute intermission.