The Crazy Things We Do for Love

Michelle Lega, Copy Editor

When the word “opera” is mentioned, most students will groan and think of fat women in Viking hats. However, the choir department’s annual Opera Scenes was a spectacular hit easily dispelling any misapprehensions about opera. For those who don’t know, Opera Scenes is a production that lasts about an hour and a half, usually depicting three or four scenes from different operas with a common theme. This year’s theme was “The Crazy Things We Do for Love,” and scenes from four different operas were performed.

The first scene was from The Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti. This opera is normally set at the end of the 18th century, but the choir department modernized it and made the setting a modern-day Starbucks café. In this scene, a peasant named Nemorino (played by Michael Schuller) is madly in love with Adina (played by Nicole Verive). She reads a story of a love potion and he decides to try it to make Adina fall in love with him. Adina’s friend Gianette (played by Terri Purcell) is also present. This scene included most of the members of the choir department and the Starbucks setting definitely made it interesting. All three main characters sang beautifully and portrayed their characters accurately.

The second scene was from the Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini. This opera is a very confusing one, but the leads played their parts well. Connor Relyea played Figaro, who was trying to help Rosina (Shiloh Pipping) secretly be with Count Almaviva (Ethan McCallister) while hiding their relationship from Dr. Bartolo (Eric Brett). Rosina’s maid Berta (Beth Kenney) tries to stop the relationship while Figaro gets both Dr. Bartolo and the music teacher Don Basilio (Cody Talkie) intoxicated. The characters essentially go crazy at the end and collapse while Figaro toasts the crowd. It was a rousing romp for the audience and the actors.

Scene three demonstrated wonderful female talent. The scene was from Cosi fan Tutte by Mozart. In the scene, Despina, a maid (played by Becky Buechel), tries to convince two sisters, Dorabella (Zoe Roechner) and Fiordiligi (Hannah Robinson), to find lovers while their betrothed are away. Buechel performed her aria admirably, showing true belting talent. Once she exited, Robinson and Roechner sang a duet; each going through musical runs beautifully.

The final scene was an excerpt from the Magic Flute by Mozart. The scene opened with a prince named Tamino (played by Davey Stobbe) running away from a dragon. He passes out and three women (Liz Darlin, Felicia Warren, Alana Bravo) kill the serpent. They commence singing about Tamino and how attractive he is. Then they decide they must tell the Queen of the Night (Alex Baloy) about the brave prince. Tamino awakes to the strange sight of Papageno (Brendan Softcheck), a man decorated like a bird. He sings about his job as a birdcatcher for the Queen of the Night. Tamino mistakes him as the killer of the serpent and Papageno agrees with this. The three women reappear and padlock Papageno’s mouth for telling lies. Then the Queen of the Night enters on a fantastic floating moon. She instructs Tamino to rescue her daughter who was taken hostage. Tamino is presented with a magic flute to aid him and all six of the characters end the scene singing. All the actors performed their parts wonderfully and they never missed a note.

Overall, the Opera Scenes performance demonstrated the amazing talent West’s choir department has. If you missed the show this year, make sure to attend next year and any preconceived notions of opera will be dispelled.