LAWRENCE — Recounting a single day of madness, “The Marriage of Figaro” follows the misadventures of two palace servants on their wedding day, who find themselves thwarted at every turn by the philandering count. The University of Kansas School of Music and University Theatre partner on this comedic opera featuring the KU Symphony Orchestra. “The Marriage of Figaro” opens April 24 at University Theatre.
Performances are 7:30 p.m. April 24, 30 and May 2 and 2:30 p.m. April 26 in the Crafton-Preyer Theatre at Murphy Hall. The opera will be performed in Italian with English surtitles.
“The vocal and musical demands of Mozart’s operas are a testament to the quality of students in this production,” said John Stephens, director and music professor. “Not only are the students challenged musically, but they get to flesh out wonderfully human characters.”
Like a great Shakespeare comedy, “The Marriage of Figaro” employs fully dimensional characters to poke fun at the human condition. It is a witty, fast-moving opera full of surprises, where the comic storyline is enhanced by the rich and soaring music of one of Mozart’s greatest scores.
“The music has an expressiveness and vitality to it. Mozart’s sense of dramatic timing is perfect,” Stephens said. “These are just a couple of the reasons it is my favorite opera.”
The company includes Michael Colman, Charleston, South Carolina graduate student, as Figaro; Alan Martin, Scotland doctoral student, as Figaro; Etta Fung, Hong Kong doctoral student, as Susanna; Lauren Stafford, Liberty, Missouri, graduate student, as Susanna; Josh Markley, Augusta doctoral student, as Count; John Meyer, Leawood senior, as Count; Emily Bennett, St. Joseph, Missouri, doctoral student, as Countess; Bokhee Min, South Korea graduate student, as Countess; Ashley Puenner, Crystal Lake, Illinois, graduate student, as Cherubino; Mackenzie Rogers, Norman, Oklahoma, graduate student, as Cherubino; Katherine Bryant, Denair, California, graduate student, as Marcellina; Jessica Wagner, Fenton, Missouri, graduate student, as Marcellina; Aaron Springer, Topeka graduate student, as Bartolo; Anthony Rohr, Dickinson, North Dakota, graduate student, as Basilio; Kevin Smith, Hastings, Nebraska, graduate student, as Basilio; Amelia Lawson, O’Fallon, Missouri, graduate student, as Barbarina; Nicole Burkhart, Lawrence senior, as Barbarina; James McAdams, Odessa, Texas, graduate student, as Antonio; Alexis Alfaro, San Diego graduate student, as Don Curzio; Katie Meyer, Lawrence senior, as Young Girl; Kelli Van Meter, Alliance, Nebraska, graduate student, as Young Girl; Caitlin Laird, Lawrence junior, as Chorus; Ashleigh Sizemore, Douglass junior, as Chorus; Juan Gonzalez, Overland Park junior, as Chorus; Corbin Eakes, Topeka sophomore, as Chorus; Calvet Young, Lawrence sophomore, as Chorus; Joseph Husband, Sammamish, Washington, sophomore, as Chorus; April Richardson, Andover junior, stage manager; and Mackenzie Phillips, Auburn, Iowa, doctoral student, assistant director.
The rest of the crew includes David Neely, associate professor of music, musical director/conductor; Kelly Vogel, visiting assistant professor in theatre, costume designer; Mark Reaney, theatre professor, scenic designer; and Dennis Christilles, associate professor in theatre and University Theatre artistic director, lighting designer.
Tickets for “The Marriage of Figaro” are on sale now at KU ticket offices and online at www.kutheatre.com. Tickets are also available by calling the University Theatre, (785) 864-3982, and the Lied Center, (785) 864-ARTS. Tickets are $20 for adults, $19 for senior citizens and KU faculty and staff, and $10 for children. KU student tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
The Department of Theatre is one of four departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.