Baylor Opera Theater Will Present “Signor Deluso” and “Trouble in Tahiti” as Mainstage Performances
by Jessie Jilovec, student newswriter
WACO, Texas (Nov. 1, 2018) – Baylor University Opera Theater is an integral part of the life of the School of Music and has a long history of excellence in opera production and training young singers to enter the field, said Gary Mortenson, D.M.A., dean of the School of Music.
Baylor Opera Theater will present mainstage opera performances at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, Wednesday, Nov. 7, and Thursday, Nov. 8, in Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center, 60 Baylor Ave. A final matinee performance will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11. Each night, Baylor Opera Theater students will perform “Signor Deluso” by Thomas Pasatieri and “Trouble in Tahiti” by Leonard Bernstein.
The first performance, “Signor Deluso,” is an English-language adaptation of the original text by Moliere based on “The Imaginary Cuckold,” a comedy from the second half of the 17th century.
“This short opera is filled with the energy and exuberance of young love prone to comic misunderstandings that lead to extreme vocalisms from the lead singers,” Mortenson said. “Over-the-top acting and singing should make for a fun experience for those in attendance.”
The second performance, “Trouble in Tahiti,” is based on Bernstein’s view of his parents’ marriage. Susan Li, director of the opera, said Bernstein is most known for “West Side Story,” but he also was a prolific composer who wrote opera along with musical theater and classical music. The opera’s performance of “Trouble in Tahiti” will commemorate Bernstein’s 100th birthday.
“Bernstein is like America’s Mozart,” Li said. “His writing is absolutely fantastic both for someone who listens to it and for those of us who study it. Bernstein’s music will live longer than any of us.”
Li said because the piece is about the nature of relationships, it was a challenge to work with college-aged students.
“Every marriage is unique, but humans are not,” Li said. “So, there’s a lot to be understood about this couple that is relatable to your own experiences in relationships. But, if you’re 20 years old, you may not have been married for the seven or eight years the couple in this piece has, so you would not have the kind of life experience to related to. Trying to teach experience is different.”
Bernstein wanted everything about the opera to be believable to contemporary audiences, so all the music has its origins in the American vernacular.
“These two operas are highly accessible one-act gems and should provide an enjoyable listening experience to patrons new to opera as well as enthusiasts who attend operas at every opportunity,” Mortenson said.
Reserved tickets are available online and at the Theatre Department Box Office in Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $5 for Baylor students and faculty. For more information, call 254-710-3991.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.