BGSU Opera Theater

Operatic double header bridges the centuries with laughter

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Comedy is timeless. The BGSU  Opera Theater’s double-bill of “How to Reform a Drunk” by Christoph Willibald Von Gluck from 1760 and “The Four Note Opera” by Tom Johnson from 1972  are as different in their approaches as you’d expect from works written 200 years apart. The reactions they provoke are the same – knowing chuckles and hearty guffaws. The operas will be performed tonight (Nov. 3) at 8 p.m. and Sunday (Nov. 5) at 3 p.m. in Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus. Tickets are $20 at the door, and cheaper if purchased in advance by calling 419-372-8171 or online. https://www.bgsu.edu/the-arts.htmlfrom The Gluck is a classic comic send-up. A vintner Lukas (Tyler Strayer) conspires to get the drunken father Zipperlein (Aaron Meece) to let him marry his daughter Marie (Hannah Stroh). She, however, is in love with the actor Anton (Aaron Hill). Her mother (Eunice Ayodele), the victim of her husband’s drunken behavior, is caught betwixt. As much as Katharine despises Lukas, “actors,” as she tells her daughter, “are the worst.” Still Anton gets into her good graces by concocting a plan to reform Zipperlein. That leads to a wonderfully…


Broadway, blues & opera intersect in colorful “Street Scene” at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The brownstone at 346 on an anonymous street on New York’s Lower East Side is the home to seven families of motley ethnicity. “Street Scene,” the opera they inhabit, brings together music of the Old World and New to express their joys, hopes, passion, fears, and desperation. The 1946 collaboration of composer Kurt Weill, poet Langston Hughes, and playwright Elmer Rice opens Friday at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the Bowling Green State University campus. A matinee performance will be presented Sunday at 3 p.m. Advance tickets are $15; all tickets are $20 the day of the performance. Call 419-372-8171, go online at bgsu.edu/arts, or visit the box office in the Wolfe Center to purchase tickets. “Street Scene,” said Kevin Bylsma, coordinator of opera at BGSU, “is a great amalgamation of operetta, opera and musical theater that tells a poignant story that resonates as much today as it did in 1946.” The tale of immigrants tossed together in a strange, sometimes hostile place had such resonance that guest director Nicholas Wuehrmann considered setting this version in contemporary times. There’s the “universality of the themes of…


‘Gondoliers’ provides a comic & tuneful respite from dirty politics

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Maybe “The Gondoliers” is just what we need about now. With a political campaign rolling like a torrent of sludge to a messy conclusion, a frothy piece of social satire from another time is a welcomed diversion. The venerable team of Gilbert and Sullivan reminds us that being a doofus is just part of the human condition. Doesn’t matter if you’re royalty or gondolier, you are at heart a fool. But in the world of Gilbert and Sullivan even fools can spin off a tangle of intricate rhyme that precisely delineates the absurd world they inhabit. “The Gondoliers or the King of Barataria” was the team’s last hit back in the last decade of the 19th century. And Bowling Green State University Opera Theatre whips up a production that is true to the absurdist spirit of the original. The show is on stage tonight (Nov. 4) at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. on Kobacker Hall on campus. Advance tickets are $15 and $5 for students and children. All tickets the day of the performance are $20. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or at www.bgsu.edu/arts. The tale is a…


BGSU Opera Theater Gives Voice to Tragic Tale of Love

Seldom does an opera arrive on the stage at Bowling Green State University with such high expectations. “Cavalerria Rusticana,” which opens Friday at 8 p.m. with a matinee Sunday at 3 p.m. in Donnell Theatre, features native son Shawn Mathey who has already made his mark on international stages. And opposite his Turiddu as Santuzza is Jennifer Cresswell, who also has impressive professional stage credits, perfectly cast as the woman scorned. The leads deliver, not just through voices that have the Donnell vibrating with their passion, but also through their acting, which brings their characters to life. It’s worth looking over at Cresswell during the scene in which her heart-to-heart talk with Turiddu is interrupted by Lola (Kyle Schreiber). Mathey’s character immediately abandons Santuzza as he dotes on the woman he had hoped to marry. Without a word, Cresswell expresses disdain both for her rival and her lover as well as self-pity for herself. Santuzza had slept with Turiddu when he arrived back in his village to find Lola had married the teamster Alfio (John Mink). That dalliance had its desired effect, making Lola jealous, and she and Turiddu reunited. Tragedy ensues, all played out in full-throated singing. Director Jesse…