Spears’ studio presents scenes from “Figaro

Laura Streyle

While the soap operas on television may fall short of communicating a sufficiently clean and musical message to viewers like you, the talented vocal students of Steven Spears who performed “A Concert of Excerpts from Mozart’s ‘Le Nozze di Figaro'” are much more capable of performing the task.
The multilayered plot of “Le Nozze di Figaro,” or “The Marriage of Figaro,” is comprised of many things: love, revenge, anxiety and a teenager’s unbalanced hormones. In this way, Mozart’s famous opera does not deviate too much from the melodramatic soap operas of today. What sets Mozart’s work apart are his musical prowess and his ability to insert playfulness within a dramatic plot.
Sunday’s concert offered another level of enjoyment for the viewer as Spears served as the informal narrator, casually filling the audience in on whatever took place in the opera between the excerpts that the students performed. “Jumping ahead 98 superfluous pages in the score, we come to Act IV,” he nonchalantly reported at one point.
“Given the intricate details of the story, no budget and a set of 15 schedules firmly rooted in the established life of the Conservatory, we have achieved a performance that has elements of recital, opera performance, script-reading and rehearsal,” said Spears.
With Nick Towns accompanying on piano, the singers delivered a marvelous production.
Figaro, played by senior Christopher Besch, and Susanna, played by junior Lara Wasserman, Acts I and II, and sophomore Audrey Goodman, Acts III and IV, combined moments of fluid harmonies with moments of frustration and harmless aggression.
The budding young page, Cherubino, played by sophomore Chelsea Melamed, Act I, and senior Sirgourney Tanner, Acts II and IV, expressed the flittering passion of an adolescent heart pining for too many young ladies.
Seniors Dustin Morris and Carolyn Grieco played the parts of Count and Countess Almaviva, a couple who had to restore their rocky relationship after many pranks and arias.
Patrick MacDevitt, James Antony, Elizabeth Melzer, Becca Shorr and Stefan Egerstrom also enlivened the Harper stage with gossip, anxiety, love interests and foiled plans.
This was a gifted cast of musical flair, fun and charm. Their last lines of the performance left the audience with cheerful spirits and satisfied ears: “This day of torments, of caprice, of folly, in content and happiness, only love can end it.

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