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Virtual opera workshop planned by music department at UWSP

Metro Wire Staff

A fun, lighthearted performance of a collection of Mozart operas will be offered virtually starting at 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 21, through the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Department of Music Opera Workshop.

“Dom Impresario di Figaro: A Medley of Mozart Madness” is performed by UW-Stevens Point students under the direction of Music Professor Matthew Markham and guest musical director Kristin Ditlow, a faculty member at the University of New Mexico. Markham, Ditlow, and five students wrote the dialog, which links scenes from Mozart’s operas, including “The Marriage of Figaro,” “The Magic Flute” and “The Impresario,” among others.

The opera will be performed by 23 students in English, Italian, and German, all with subtitles included in the video.

Tickets for the online performance are $15 for the general public and $5 for students at tickets.uwsp.edu. A link will be sent to all ticket holders to stream the production for two weeks, from May 21 through Friday, June 4.

Planning for this production began last April, shortly after last year’s opera workshop was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting in the fall, students rehearsed in small groups and recorded their parts with the assistance of Assistant Professor Michael Butler, director of bands, who lent his video and editing expertise. Mara Prausa, executive director of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, recorded all the accompaniment. Student interns and a graduate assistant also helped coordinate the production.

Although it was challenging, it was a great learning experience, said Markham. “Our students were flexible and creative. They staged their own scenes while making their recordings. We even have a guest appearance from Stevie Pointer.”

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