Houghton College Lyric Theatre will bring the well-known comic opera The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to the chapel stage in three performances on March 21, 22 and 23. Each performance begins at 7:30 p.m.
Sung in Italian, The Marriage of Figaro explores territory that was cause for concern in the late 1700s when it was written—the relationship between classes. It sheds light on the limitations of privilege and rank and intones that genuine humility easily replaces unwarranted arrogance. In the opera’s setting of Spain, Figaro (valet to the Count) is jealous of the Count for his gallantry to Susanna, his betrothed. The Countess Rosina is also dismayed by her husband’s wandering eye and longs for his love to return to her. Come along on this humorous journey and see how the Countess, Susanna, Figaro and Cherubino (the love-obsessed young page) conspire to punish the Count for his infidelity.
“I chose The Marriage of Figaro because it is a fantastically funny and engaging standard of the operatic repertoire,” said Amanda Cox, Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of Lyric Theatre. “Many of the songs—in particular the overture—will be familiar to the audience. It is a very accessible opera.”
For this production, all the players are Houghton College music majors, both undergraduates and graduate students. “Performing [the opera] in Italian is a huge challenge and undertaking, but our students are doing an incredible job. I believe that those who attend the show will be both entertained and touched by our performance,” Cox said.
Lyric Theatre, the musical theatre and opera program at Houghton’s Greatbatch School of Music, is dedicated to creating performance and production opportunities for the benefit and development of Houghton College students—music and non-music majors alike. Singers, actors, instrumentalists, technicians and managers are given opportunities to develop their skills and help create high-quality productions. Generally, the Lyric Theatre offers one production each semester. Past performances have included Oklahoma!, The Phantom of the Opera and Songs for a New World.
Houghton College is a liberal arts institution that challenges students to academic excellence – in the context of a relevant Christian community – and empowers them to enrich the world. The college of 1,000 students is located in Western New York, just 65 miles from Rochester and Buffalo.