Asking a typical theatre-going audience what comes to mind when the name “Shakespeare” is uttered, you’ll likely receive answers of forlorn lovers, kingly tragedy, and witty lyricism. Opera, on the other hand, is likely not a common response, but Associate Professor of Theatre Antonio Ocampo-Guzman is seeking to change that with his operatic directorial debut for the Boston Midsummer Opera with Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, which is set to open at the Tsai Performance Center on July 24, 2013.
The opera, which was first performed in 1849, is rarely performed in the United States, with Ocampo-Guzman’s BMO debut being the first professional production in New England.
Check out the videos below for an in-depth look at the opera, from Ocampo-Guzman and Music Director and Conductor Susan Davenny Wyner:
“Title characters energize ‘The Merry Wives'” – The Boston Globe, July 18, 2013 [subscription required]
“A ‘Merry’ new challenge for Northeastern director” – news@Northeastern
BOSTON MIDSUMMER OPERA
The Merry Wives of Windsor
— July 24, 26 & 28 at Tsai Performance Center at Boston University —
Falstaff in love? Is the world his oyster? Not if these quick-witted housewives have their way, as Boston audiences will discover when Boston Midsummer Opera (BMO) presents its eighth season production, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Otto Nicolai’s tuneful 1849 version of Shakespeare’s humorous tale. This popular European opera, rarely seen in the United States, will be fully staged and costumed and presented at the Tsai Performance Center, Boston University for three performances only, July 24, 26 and 28. Director Antonio Ocampo-Guzman makes his BMO debut and nationally acclaimed conductor Susan Davenny Wyner will lead the BMO orchestra. The opera will be sung in an English translation by John Moriarty, and will be the first professional production of this opera in New England.
One of William Shakespeare’s great comedies, The Merry Wives of Windsor is a hilarious tale of love and marriage, jealousy and revenge, class and wealth. In Nicolai’s charming adaptation, Falstaff, an aging and portly has-been gallant, simultaneously courts two married women using identical love letters. The faithful wives plan to take revenge on the would-be Lothario. Meanwhile Anna, the young and desirable daughter of one of the wives, attempts to outwit her parents as they choose whom she shall wed.
The cast of singers, chorus and dancers will include the Metropolitan Opera’s Dean Elzinga and Ricardo Lugo as the 2 husbands (Mr. Ford and Mr. Page); internationally known soprano Martha Guth and rising star contralto Stephanie Kacoyanis as the two wives (Alice Ford and Meg Page); BMO favorites soprano Sara Heaton and tenor Alex Richardson as the young lovers (Anne Page and Fenton); and acclaimed American buffo bass Jason Budd will make his BMO debut as Falstaff.
Young dancers from the Central Mass Dance Academy of Worcester will also be featured, with choreography provided by faculty members Kellie Shea and Laura Lobo. This inner city performing arts school is noted for its high quality training in theater as well as dance.
The design team includes Stephen Dobay, (sets), Karen Perlow (lighting), and IRNE nominated designer Elisabetta Polito (costumes).
Founded in 2006, Boston Midsummer Opera creates vibrant experiences designed to ward off the summer doldrums. Sung in English and imaginatively staged, BMO makes opera both accessible and affordable by mounting dynamic productions with nationally and internationally known artists that will attract new listeners as well as appeal to discriminating opera fans.
Performances of The Merry Wives of Windsor are Wednesday, July 24th and Friday, 26th at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 28th at 3:00 p.m. at the Tsai Performance Center at Boston University, 685 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. A pre-concert lecture by Richard Dyer will take place one hour before performance time.
Tickets, priced at $60.00 to $40.00 (plus a $5.00 handling fee per ticket order) for all performances, are available, online at www.bostonmidsummeropera.org, by calling 617-227-0442, or by mailing a request to Boston Midsummer Opera, Box 513, 66 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114.
For more information, visit www.bostonmidsummeropera.org.