Mercyhurst’s D’Angelo Department of Music will perform two popular operatic comedies this weekend.
Both operas will be performed in English and have been changed to create one seamless plot line, separated by an intermission.
Act One will be Wolfgang Mozart’s comedic masterpiece “The Impresario.”
In this production, the script has been completely rewritten by a contracted playwright, but all of the music will be kept the same.
The story is set in New York in the late 1920s and includes the characters Mr. Sweeney, a famous and retirement-bound Impresario, and his assistant Mr. Eager, who desperately wants to be the leading baritone of the opera company, are met by women of their past.
Hilarity ensues when the two women and the patron, Buoso “Bucks” Bottino, come into the situation from very different backgrounds.
Sylvestra Vesterdal is a seasoned performer, and Polly Ann Asbister is a new but talented girl from Spotted Gecko, Arizona.
Both divas yearn for the same role—the prima donna of the company.
When asked about the production, junior Alianna Whiteaker, who plays Silvestra Vesterdal said, “My experience in this production has been interesting in regards to singing. It has also been a great experience as far as acting goes, especially during my favorite portion of the show— the cat fight part of the Impresario.”
The tie between the two shows is the patron, Bottino. The patron has connections to the mafia and is an influential character in both shows.
The second performance of the night is a rendition of Giacomo Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi,” which has been altered to take place in 1940s Manhattan. In this story, Buoso Bottino has recently died in his penthouse. The curtain opens to the family of Buoso mourning his death.
That is, until the frantic search for his will ensues. Once found, the will is read, and to Bottino leaves his money to his Divas. It is then decided that the hated Gianni Schicchi should help them in duping the notary and having another will drawn up to please the family.
The family disposes of Bottino’s body, and Schicchi takes his place in the bed. The notary believes the family’s plan and doesn’t suspect that Buoso is dead at all.
Schicchi dictates all of Buoso’s new wishes to leave vast amounts of money and land to the family.
Both productions are ripe with plot twists and knee-slapping comedy. The shows are double casted for certain roles, so the audience will have a different and magnificent, experience each night.
“Two Comedies Tonight!” will be performed Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 25, at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $2.50 for Mercyhurst students with an ID.