Spotlight on Opera presents Mozart’s “Così fan tutte” at Centenary College
SHREVEPORT, LA — The Spotlight on Opera program at Centenary College’s Hurley School of Music continues its summer season with Così fan tutte, Mozart’s satirical take on love and relationships. The Spotlight production, sung in English, comes to the Anderson Auditorium stage on Saturday, July 13, at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, July 14, at 2:00 p.m.
Mozart’s sparkling comedy, first performed in 1790 in Vienna, pits men against women as two soldiers, Ferrando and Gugliemo, are charged by a cynical bachelor friend, Don Alfonso, to prove that their girlfriends, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, are paragons of fidelity. Ferrando and Gugliemo give themselves over to Don Alfonso’s direction to play a trick on the ladies and their clever maid, Despina, with some hilarious and unintended consequences.
Recent Centenary graduate Victoria Sundin and rising senior Carlos Romero, both attending Spotlight’s program on scholarship this summer, will sing leading roles in Così. Sundin will sing Fiordiligi while Romero appears as Gugliemo. Other leading characters include guest artist Sarah Stankiewiecz Dailey as Dorabella, Katie Wick as Despina, Tony Anthony as Ferrando, and Kyle Chastulik as Don Alfonso. The 25-member chorus also includes two other current Centenary students and Spotlight scholarship recipients, Zipphora Hyman and Sierra Worman.
"Being able to perform one of Mozart’s masterpieces has been an amazing pleasure,” says Romero. “The character of Guglielmo has been a challenge for me because his personality isn’t something I can personally relate to, but it has ultimately helped me become a better actor and performer. I am very grateful that Spotlight on Opera and Centenary have given me the opportunities to be able to continue pursuing my dreams of becoming an opera singer.”
Centenary graduate Sundin credits her four years at the College with giving her all the tools necessary to grow as a young artist and is grateful for the opportunity to use these skills at Spotlight.
“I’m grateful to perform the role of Fiordiligi here because it challenges me to study and play so many different emotions at once, which will hopefully carry on to future roles,” says Sundin. “Spotlight is a wonderful program for all singers, and having it based at Centenary and in Shreveport has given me a chance to give back to a community that has supported my growth as a performer.”
Spotlight’s production of Così fan tutte is directed by Shawn Marie Jeffery with musical direction by Kristin Roach and collaborative piano work by David Hill. Roach will also conduct the show.
"In looking at Così fan tutte today it can be difficult to reconcile our contemporary views toward gender roles and the story,” explains Jeffery. “The title is often translated as ‘All Women Are Like That,’ though a more literal translation would be so ‘So Are They All,’ without gender assignment. As I was first considering how I wanted to approach the work, I felt a bit angry with how it is often translated, especially since the story is very much about men manipulating women and their feelings. But as I worked through it I discovered what I really wanted to bring to the work was captured more in the subtitle - The School For Lovers. Each of the four lovers starts out somewhat idealistic when it comes to matters of love. As do we all. But love is not perfect. There is conflict and pain. How we as individuals deal with this truth determines the kinds of relationships we will have, and the depths we will reach in them."
Tickets for Così fan tutte are $20 for the general public and $10 for students, seniors, and military personnel with ID. The performance is free for Centenary faculty, staff, and students with ID. Tickets are available at SpotlightOnOpera.com.
Cindy Sadler, former artist-in-residence at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music, founded Spotlight on Opera in 2007 as a one-week summer program. It has since grown into an independent non-profit organization, attracting students from all over the United States and several foreign countries. More information on the program is available at SpotlightOnOpera.com.