CMU to perform Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro

FAYETTE – Opera is a scary word to many people, but those who come to The Marriage of Figaro will find that some opera is both fun and funny. Such is the case with the hapless hero Figaro who only wants to marry his sweetie and live happily ever after.
The Opera Workshop at Central Methodist University will be performing The Marriage of Figaro on Thursday, February 20 – Saturday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m.; and on Sunday, February 23 at 2 p.m. in the Little Theatre on CMU’s Fayette campus.
The cost is $7 per adult, $2 for students with identification.
The comedic opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart frolics through a castle where the philandering Count Almaviva is trying to seduce Susanna, Figaro’s bride-to-be. As this does not sit well with Figaro or the long-suffering Countess, not to mention Susanna, a plot is set in motion to trick the Count and expose him for the scoundrel he is. After many twists and turns the plotters succeed. The Count must come crawling back to his wife begging forgiveness, while Figaro and his lovely Susanna win their happy ending.
Dr. Susan Quigley-Duggan, associate professor of music and head of the Opera Workshop, will direct the opera and conduct the music. The singers will be supported by a small pit orchestra; and the music reduction to fit the cast and instrumentalists was done by Dr. Ronald Shroyer, CMU professor emeritus of music.
The superb voices of two sets of students and faculty lead the casts through the opera, which is sung partly in English and partly in Italian with translations.
Starring in the lead roles are Levi Gerke (sophomore from Pilot Grove) and Dane Johnson (senior from Columbia) as the frustrated Figaro; Anna Kay (sophomore from Boonville) and Brittany Losh (senior from Pacific) as the sumptuous Susanna; Lacey Eaton (CMU adjunct professor of voice); and Britney Kelcher (junior from St. Charles) as the disgruntled Countess; and Darrell Jordan (CMU adjunct professor of voice) and Dan Jones (junior from St. Charles) as the scoundrel Count.
The performers of the lead roles will alternate by days (Thursday/Saturday and Friday/Sunday). The Thursday/Saturday leads will include Levi Gerke, Anna Kay, Lacey Eaton, and Darrell Jordan. Friday and Sunday will showcase Dane Johnson, Brittany Losh, Britney Kelcher, and Dan Jones.
Performing in non-rotating roles will be Rebecca Shroyer (senior from Boonville) as Cherubino; Tom Arnold (CMU adjunct professor of voice) as Basilio; Zack Fincher (junior from Lebanon) as Don Curzio; Joe Jefferies (junior from Fayette) as Bartolo;
Aubrey Taylor (senior from Columbia) as Marcellina; Angela Biondo (junior from St. Charles) as Barbarina; Luke McKinney (senior from Harrisburg) as Antonio; and Susan Bishop (freshman from Fayette) as A Young Woman.
Chorus members who do not have named roles include Shawna Crisler (junior, St. Clair), Krystyn Selmeyer (Glasgow High School); DaSean Stokes (freshman, St. Robert), Kyle Forehand (freshman, Maumelle, Ark.); Sam Gaddy (junior, Waverly); and Tanneal Hoover (New Franklin High School).
Instrumentalists in the pit orchestra are Dr. Dori Waggoner (dean of The Swinney Conservatory of Music) and Mary Rose Lehman (senior, Robertsville) on flutes; Dr. Ron Shroyer and Jo Ellen Shroyer (CMU adjunct professor of music) on clarinets;
Graham Woodland and Katherine Jones (guest performers) on violins; Dr. John Perkins (CMU associate professor of music), Rachel Richard (senior, Eldon) on trumpets; Kelley Head (CMU adjunct professor of music) on piano; and Dr. Melissa Loehnig (CMU assistant professor of music) on harpsichord.
The set and crew comprise Terri Rohlfing (costumes); Greg Owen, CMU adjunct professor of theatre (lighting, set design, and scenic art); Taylor Rouse, a sophomore from Columbia (stage manager); and Rebecca Shroyer (scenic art).
For tickets, call the CMU box office at 660-248-6281 and leave your name, phone number, how many tickets you want, and for which performance. Optional early pick-up will be available Feb. 10 from 7-9 p.m. at the Little Theatre; otherwise, tickets may be picked up just prior to performances.