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At times, it seems as though most audiences feel that an evening at the opera is intended to be long, boring and stuffy, with a minimum of laughter. However, Santa Fe’s offering of Mozart’s “The Impresario” paired with Stravinsky’s “Le Rossignol” may change some minds.
The first opera of the evening is “The Impresario,” a short, one-act piece by Mozart. This particular singspiel (the term for comic German operas with spoken dialogue instead of singing) is a short, humorous one-act work.
Mozart intended the humor to be relevant, so the dialogue is changed to appeal to audiences to whom it is presented. Director Michael Gieleta folded in some of Mozart’s impressive concert arias and worked with dramatist Ranjit Bolt to create English dialogue that would appeal to 21st century audiences. The result is witty, and an interesting commentary on the difficulty of balancing what is popular with what is artistically satisfying.
Mozart’s opera is followed by a contrasting work: Igor Stravinsky’s sublime “Le Rossignol.” Many may be familiar with Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of the Emperor and his mechanical bird, which is flashy but cannot replace the lovely song of the real nightingale.
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