Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

January 22, 2014

Comic Opera

VSU presents a musical double bill

VALDOSTA — As Dr. Scruples in Valdosta State University Opera’s latest production, Dr. John Gaston plays a retired College of the Arts dean.

Given he is VSU’s recently retired College of the Arts dean, it is a role he understands well, but with the VSU Opera adaptation by Tamara Hardesty of Gottlieb Stephanie’s libretto for Mozart’s “The Impresario,” Gaston plays a character that is only loosely based upon himself.

He can understand Dr. Scruples’ trials and tribulations in preparing an opera production, but the real-life, soft-spoken Gaston plays a grousing, put-upon retired dean, which makes Hardesty’s lines about university fund-raising and community relations all the more hilarious.

Especially for an audience familiar with both Gaston and the workings of an artistic production.  

It promises to be a magical piece in VSU Opera’s “Then & Now” performances, which features both Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario)” and Thomas Pasatieri’s “Signor Deluso.” Creating a work that appears to be an opera within an opera.

As “Then & Now” conductor Kenneth Kirk notes, “Of the two works on the current bill, Thomas Pasatieri’s ‘Signor Deluso,’ a favorite of (VSU Opera) executive producer Carol Mikkelsen previously done in 1985, was the last work produced at VSU before the present incarnation of VSU Opera. Mozart’s ‘Impresario’ is especially meaningful to me because the overture was the first piece I ever conducted with orchestra.”

This production also represents a part of a new type of season for VSU Opera.

Traditionally, the university opera company produces one opera per season. This time, VSU Opera presents three productions for the 2013-14 season, which opened last fall with “Opera After Dark,” continues this weekend with “Then & Now,” and concludes April 19, 20, with “Opera Baroque.”

“The Impresario” is different in that it opens with a scene that is more theatrical play than expected opera. Gaston’s Dr. Scruples converses with his assistant and an overbearing community patron who introduces them to the well-known opera star Gabrielle Goldentrill. Played by Caroline Hatchett, the introduction of Goldentrill reminds audiences that this is indeed opera, as Hatchett fills Whitehead Auditorium with Mozart’s music.

As the director of “Then & Now,” Hardesty brings a broad measure of farce and wit to both productions. Pasatieri based “Signor Deluso” on Moliere’s “Sganarelle,” who is the French satirist’s version of Don Juan’s dull and craven assistant. All without ever forgetting the enchantment of the music.

“We have tried to enhance Pasatieri’s wonderful Pucciniesque music by thickening his lean chamber orchestration with the addition of contrabasses — absent in the original orchestration — and with other string doublings,” Kirk notes.

Opera should be enlightening, but Kirk believes it should also be entertaining.

Text Only
Local News
  • doug henderson.jpg Memorial tourney returns

    The Doug Henderson III Memorial Golf Tournament has raised thousands of dollars for scholarship funds and to help organizations throughout the region.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914-WA-Egghunt021.jpg Park puts wild spin on Easter tradition

    Adventurous egg hunters braved overcast skies and a persistent drizzle to search for hidden prizes Saturday during Wild Adventure’s first Ostrich Egg Hunt.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • FallenTree003.JPG More spills reported

    City of Valdosta employees have spent the weekend responding to spills caused by several inches of rain that have again drenched the city during the past few days.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Underwater Easter_Rich copy.jpg Stories behind ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’

    Christ comes from the Greek word, “Christos,” meaning “the anointed one.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140418_valwood001.jpg Valwood students register to vote

    Valwood teaches its students about the importance of voting. Each year, the school has encouraged eligible seniors to register to vote and participate in local elections.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • wadebrandon14.jpg Police still seeking missing mother, son

    Though their assignments have changed during the past dozen years, Valdosta Police Capt. Bobbi McGraw and Sgt. Chris Crews continue working the case of a missing mother and her son.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • 041814-TreeDownonRobinHood.jpg Minor flooding expected

    Minor flooding of the Withlacoochee River is expected this weekend thanks to the day-long rains across South Georgia Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814-TreeDownonRobinHood.jpg Wastewater hazards assessed

    During heavy rain events, five to 15 manholes throughout the city are at risk of overflowing into local waterways, according to the City of Valdosta.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140418-VSU_HSBA003.jpg Valdosta State cuts ribbon for health, business building

    Eighteen months after breaking ground on the project, Valdosta State University held the official ribbon cutting Friday for its Health Sciences and Business Administration Building.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140417-Rail_Plan-001.jpg State Transportation seeks public input on rail plan

    The Georgia Department of Transportation held public meetings across the state this week to discuss its 2014 Georgia State Rail Plan.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results