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April 13, 2006
Contact: Charla Jenkins, University Theatre, (785) 864-2684.

University Theatre closes season with comic opera ‘The Marriage of Figaro’

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Department of Theatre and Film, University Theatre and the Department of Music and Dance will present Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s comic opera, “The Marriage of Figaro,” in English and featuring the KU Symphony Orchestra, at 7:30 p.m. April 28 and May 4 and 6 and 2:30 p.m. April 30 in the Crafton-Preyer Theatre in Murphy Hall.

The opera production celebrates the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth and is the final event in WAM Fest, a variety of events and activities held this spring to celebrate the life, times and music of the great composer.

Born in Salzburg, Austria, in January 1756, Mozart showed exceptional musical precocity, playing the clavier at age 3 and composing by age 6. During his short 35-year lifetime, he composed more than 600 works, including operas, ballets, masses, symphonies, piano and violin concertos, sonatas and string quartets.

The libretto for the four-act opera was written by Lorenzo de Ponte after Beaumarchais’ 1784 play “La Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro,” a sequel to his earlier play, “Le Barbier de Séville,” familiar to opera audiences through Rossini’s great opera. The English translation being used for the KU production is by Ruth and Thomas Martin.

Stage director for the opera is Tim Ocel, associate professor of music and dance. Music director and conductor of the 36-piece orchestra is Nicholas Uljanov, associate professor of music and dance, assisted by conductor Andres Franco, Medellín, Colombia, doctoral student in musical arts. The scenic design is by Sandy Appleoff, Falls City, Neb., master’s degree student in scenography, and lighting design is by Appleoff and Delbert Unruh, professor of theatre and film. Costume designer is Delores Ringer, associate professor of theatre and film.

“The Marriage of Figaro” is set in Count Almaviva’s castle in Seville, Spain, in the late 18th century. In the original play, the Count, with substantial help from his barber, Figaro, wooed and won the lovely Rosina away from her crusty old ward and would-be husband, Dr. Bartolo. Mozart’s librettist took the popular story, removed “political” content that would have offended the Viennese imperial censors and faithfully translated the rest into Italian, the customary opera language of the day.

In “The Marriage of Figaro,” the story continued. The Count has married Rosina, but their marriage has gone sour because of his philandering ways. Figaro has quit barbering and is now the Count’s valet. He is engaged to Susanna, who is the Countess’ maid and the Count’s intended conquest. Old Bartolo is back seeking revenge on Figaro for taking Rosina away from him. Adding to the fun are an amorous teenager, a scheming old maid, a drunken gardener and a silly young girl. Combined with Mozart’s masterpiece of a musical score, the result is a witty, yet profound, tale of love, betrayal and forgiveness.

Reserved seat tickets for the opera are on sale in the KU ticket offices: University Theatre, 864-3982; Lied Center, 864-ARTS; and online at kutheatre.com. Tickets are $18 for the public, $10 for students and $17 for senior citizens and KU faculty and staff. VISA and Mastercard are accepted for phone and online orders.

The 26 students in cast, ensemble and production roles are listed below by name, class and major, parents’ names, high school and role.

BARTON COUNTY
From Great Bend
Patrick Underwood, junior in music education, son of Jeff and Lori Underwood; Great Bend High School; Ensemble.

DICKINSON COUNTY
From Talmage
Jason Gibson, senior in theatre, son of Bill and Sandy Gibson; Chapman High School; Ensemble.

DOUGLAS COUNTY
From Baldwin City
Jedidiah P. Kruger, sophomore in voice, son of Rob and Susan Kruger of Baldwin City and Pat and Karen Gaughen of Hampton, Neb.; Hampton High School; Don Basilio.

From Lawrence
William Joseph Bearden, master’s degree student in theatre; Ensemble.

Christian Elser, doctoral student in voice performance; University School of Milwaukee; Count Almaviva.

Darren McCarter, senior in accounting, son of Kathy McCarter of Lawrence and Ken McCarter of Omaha, Neb.; St. Joseph (Mo.) Central High School; Ensemble and cover for Antonio.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Olathe
Amy Cahill, sophomore in voice, daughter of Richard and Sharon Cahill; Olathe South High School; Barbarina.

From Overland Park
Megan Adams, junior in voice and music therapy, daughter of Tony and Laura Adams; Blue Valley North High School; Ensemble.

Candice Bondank, junior in theatre/voice; Shawnee Mission South High School; cover for Barbarina.

From Shawnee
Jeffrey G. Beruan, master’s degree student in opera performance, son of Mr. and Mrs. Percy Buery; DeSoto High School; Dr. Bartolo.

NEMAHA COUNTY
From Sabetha
Meaghan Deiter, master’s degree student in voice, daughter of Steve Deiter; Sabetha High School; Flower Girl, Ensemble and cover for Marcellina.

Tyler Simpson, senior in voice and human biology, son of Bill and Kathy Simpson; Sabetha High School; Figaro.

RILEY COUNTY
From Manhattan
Lauren Henderson, sophomore in voice, daughter of Phil Henderson and Nan Ambrosy; Manhattan High School; Ensemble.

SHAWNEE COUNTY
From Topeka
Stephen Ferrell, junior in theatre, son of Al Ferrell; Perry Lecompton High School; Ensemble.

Lindsay Marie Ohse, master’s degree student in opera performance, daughter of Susan and David Ohse; Topeka High School; Susanna.

CALIFORNIA
From Arcata
Meggee VanSpeybroeck, freshman in voice, daughter of John and Nancy VanSpeybroeck; Ensemble.

MISSOURI
From Bates City
Andrew Fuchs, junior in voice, son of Steve and Lana Downs; Odessa High School; Antonio.

From Kansas City
Rebecca Mann, junior in voice, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Mann; Grandview High School; cover for Cherubino.

From Lee’s Summit
Lindsey M. Bush, master’s degree student in voice performance, daughter of David and Susan Bush; Lee’s Summit North High School; cover for Susanna.

From St. Louis
Gina Galati, master’s degree student in opera performance, daughter of Giovanni and Jackie Galati; St. Joseph’s Academy; Countess Almaviva.

From Smithville
Nancy Lee Ruehle, doctoral student in voice, daughter of Paul and Leah Ruehle; Oak Park High School; Marcellina.

NEBRASKA
From Falls City
Sandy Appleoff, master’s degree student in scenography; bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University; scenic design and lighting design.

From Hampton and Baldwin City, Kan.
Jedidiah P. Kruger. SEE DOUGLAS COUNTY.

From Omaha and Lawrence, Kan.
Darren McCarter. SEE DOUGLAS COUNTY.

OKLAHOMA
From Tulsa
Ashley Benes, sophomore in voice, daughter of Mark and Mary Benes; Broken Arrow Senior High School; Ensemble.

TEXAS
From El Paso
Hugo Vera, doctoral student in voice, son of Mr. and Mrs. Juan Vera; Riverside High School; Don Curzio.

COLOMBIA
From Medellín
Andres Franco, doctoral student in musical arts, who received a master’s degree from Texas Christian University and a bachelor’s degree from Pontific University Javeriana; assistant to director and conductor of KU Symphony Orchestra.

SOUTH KOREA
From Seoul
Joo Hee Park, master’s degree student in opera performance, daughter of Chun-Bae Park and Mi-Ja Lee; Seo-Moon Women’s High School; Cherubino.

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