OU School of Music to present comedic opera
Donterio Ligons, The Oklahoma Daily
AT A GLANCE
What: Falstaff composed by Giuseppe Verdi
When: March 7-9 at 8 p.m.; March 10 at 3 p.m.
Where: Reynolds Performing Arts Center
Place yourself into 14th-century Europe with Renaissance-esque costumes this Thursday as the scandals of Giuseppe Verdi’s comedic opera unfold in “Falstaff.”
“Falstaff” is the story of Sir John Falstaff, a knight who attempts to pursue two married women. Yet as the story develops and his pursuits repeatedly fail him, Falstaff, along with the rest of the cast, retain a sense of humor through each act.
Comedic operas are fairly uncommon, making Falstaff a great opportunity for aspiring professional opera singers to experience this kind of character, said second-year master’s student, Anthony Eversole, who will play the role of Falstaff,.
“I like the comedy part of it,” said Tatiana Ogan, music and voice senior, who will play the role of Meg Page. “It’s really light-hearted.”
The opera may be an older story, but that does not mean it is limited to a particular time period. The characters in Falstaff are similar to people today, and many are personally relatable, Ogan said.
As an actor, it is all about storytelling and bringing the audience with you through the story, Ogan said. It is especially important to make sure the audience has the right reaction and the actors get the jokes right.
“With an audience, there is an energy between the performer and the viewer,” Ogan said.
The actors were cast late last semester and have been dedicating time to the opera ever since. They spent about five months perfecting the Italian music, Ogan said.
“The music is so driven by the drama,” Eversole said. “That’s what I love about Verdi’s work.”
Presented by the School of Music, Falstaff is an opera comprised of students in the School of Music, OU Chorus, Orchestra and guest baritone, Christopher Burchett. Many participants valued the experience the opera has given them, and the insight of what the professional world holds, Eversole said.
Though in Italian, Falstaff has English subtitles for the audience to read throughout the performance. Falstaff is funny, relatable and a good first opera to see if you have never seen one before, Eversole said.
“You don’t need to understand the language,” Eversole said. “You can read the emotions on stage.”
Falstaff will play at 8 p.m. March 7-9, and at 3 p.m. on March 10 in Reynolds Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $17 for adults, $14 for senior adults, OU faculty, staff and military and $10 for students and are available at the OU Fine Arts Box Office or by phone: (405) 325-4101.