BUZZ: Opera lovers, get ready to revel

February 27, 2013 Editorial Staff
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“I wouldn’t limit the audience to a certain age,” said Francine Garber, executive vice-president of the Regina Opera and Opera producer of the two upcoming operas to be performed at Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s auditorium on the first two weekends in March.

“Suor Angelica” by Giacomo Puccini and “La Serva Padrona” by Giovanni Pergolesi are part of a double bill to be performed in Italian with a full orchestra. Operas are typically sung in Italian and this is no exception. English subtitles will be projected above the stage, for non-Italian speakers.

“The music is very lively, enjoyable and understandable by all audiences,” Garber continued, explaining that the operas are good for all ages. Children are part of the cast of “Suor Angelica.”

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On March 2, 3, 9 and 10, each opera will run for a little less than one hour, with one intermission.

“La Serva Padrona” or “The Maid Mistress” is a comedy focusing on a heroine named Serpina who plays the role of a maid. Serpina works for Uberto and tricks him into marrying her with the help of another servant, Vespone.

“We find out that she’s the boss of the house,” Garber notes.

Following the first opera is “Suor Angelica,” the tale of a woman who, after finding out that she’s pregnant, is forced into a convent. The opera takes place entirely in the convent following the heart-wrenching story of Sister Angelica’s dramatic life.

“The baby will be doing all performances,” Garber explained, referring to five-year-old Nomi Barkan who plays Sister Angelica’s daughter. “Nomi has been in several of our shows,” added Garber. “She started last March and she was wonderful. Whenever we can, we put her in.”

Nomi’s older sister, Shellie, 12, will also be performing, along with a visitor from Austria, Melanie Henley Heyn, who will be playing Sister Angelica.

“She came specifically to do these productions for us. In January she flew in because our conducted recommended that we hear us,” explained Garber, adding, “The rest of the cast are people who have performed with us before.”

Tickets cost $25; $20 for college students, 25 and under, and seniors; $5 for teenagers; and free for children 12 and under. They can be purchased at the door the days of the performances.

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