Two Evenings of Opera Scenes Set for April 23-24

April 20, 1999

by Richard Veit

Baylor University Opera Theater will present excerpts from famous operas at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Baylor Blackbox Opera Theater. Baylor Opera Theater performs under the direction of Richard Aslanian, lecturer in music and director of opera. The Blackbox Opera Theater is located between the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Waco Creek.

Opening the pair of programs will be the duet and quartet from Act III of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera, Idomeneo, which tells of the King of Crete during the time of the Trojan War. This work -- considered to be Mozart's first truly mature opera -- was premiered in Munich on Jan. 29, 1781.

Scene 2 from the opening act of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's comic opera Le donne curiose (or Inquisitive Women) will follow. This is an early work, premiered in Munich on Nov. 27, 1903, when the composer was 27 years old.

Gioacchino Rossini's perennial favorite, The Barber of Seville, dates from 1816 and is usually considered to be one of that master's two or three greatest operas. Baylor Opera Theater will perform the Duet, Aria and Quintet from Act III.

Concluding the presentations will be the opening scene from Gian Carlo Menotti's comic opera The Old Maid and the Thief. This engaging composition was premiered on NBC Radio in 1939 and first produced on stage two years later.

These programs will be presented with costumes and staging, and Aslanian will provide the piano accompaniment.

Both performances are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Baylor School of Music at 710-3991.

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