Ouachita Baptist University’s Opera Theatre will present Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni Nov. 18-21. The production is a two-act dramatic comedy to be sung in Italian with English surtitles.
Performances will be held in Jones Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18-20 and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21. Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at www.obu.edu/finearts.
“The performances of any opera – not only those of the OBU Opera Theatre – are an enriching experience,” said Dr. Jon Secrest, co-director, music director and conductor of Don Giovanni and chair of OBU’s department of applied music. “Since this is a dramatic comedy, audience members are guaranteed an evening of laughter and light-hearted fun along with a message of morality.
“Mozart and his favorite librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte, have given us an amusing and poignant story that has been called the greatest of all operas by another great composer of music drama, Richard Wagner,” Secrest added.
Don Giovanni is the story of a young man, arrogant and sexually prolific in his ways, who harms and tricks every cast member before being taught a moral lesson when he comes to terms with something which he cannot outwit or kill. The show will be fully produced with costumes, lighting, sets and orchestral accompaniment and includes some of Mozart’s most famous melodies, including Madamina!; Deh vieni alla finestra; Batti, batti, o bel Masetto; Finch’han dal vino; and Dalla sua pace.
“Those who do not attend won’t know what they are missing,” said Secrest, who has seen Ouachita’s opera productions grow over the last seven years from audiences of 250 to an audience of 850 for last year’s production of Gianni Schicchi. “We always have audience members who remark that they wish they had come sooner,” he said.
Dr. Glenda Secrest, OBU professor of music, will serve as co-director and stage director for the show. Joey Licklider, director of the Jones Performing Arts Center, will serve as technical designer and technical director for the show.
“The students have worked very hard,” Dr. Glenda Secrest said. “They had to learn their roles over the summer in order for us to produce an opera of this magnitude.
“I am very proud of their hard work,” she added. “It takes many hours to learn the music – let alone the Italian – memorize and then stage such a production. I know the audience will be amazed at what these students have accomplished.”
The show will be double cast, with the exception of the following students who will perform every night: Andrew Miller, a junior vocal performance major from Dalworthington Gardens, Texas, as Don Giovanni; Sean Wilson, a senior vocal performance major from Spotsylvania, Va., as Leporello; and Jody Lee, a senior theatre arts major from Arlington, Texas, as Il Commendatore.
For the Nov. 18 and 20 shows, the rest of the cast will include: Jacob Watson, a senior musical theatre major from Wynne, Ark., as Don Ottavio; Joel Rogier, a freshman vocal performance major from Glen Carbon, Ill., as Masetto; Elisabeth Hipp, a senior vocal performance major from Memphis, Tenn., as Donna Elvira; Katie Edenfield, a senior vocal performance major from Cypress, Texas, as Donna Anna; and Caitlin Secrest, a freshman vocal performance major from Arkadelphia, Ark., as Zerlina.
For the Nov. 19 and 21 show, the rest of the cast will include: Xavier Lagunas, a junior musical theatre and mass communications major from Arlington, Texas, as Don Ottavio; John Tneoh, a sophomore vocal performance major from Sungai Petani, Malaysia, as Masetto; Grace Johnson, a junior vocal performance major from Tyler, Texas, as Donna Elvira; Rachel Harris, a junior musical theatre major from Springdale, Ark., as Donna Anna; and Hannah Garner, a sophomore vocal performance major from Saginaw, Mich., as Zerlina.
A chorus of peasants, dancers and demons will include: Carolyn Baker, a freshman musical theatre major from Garland, Texas; Ashley Bundy, a freshman vocal performance major from Justin, Texas; Courtney Gibson, a senior psychology major from Superior, Colo.; DeCarl Jones, a freshman vocal performance major from Rowlett, Texas; Kelsey Lamb, a freshman vocal performance major from Little Rock, Ark.; Victoria Mantooth, a freshman vocal performance major from Sherwood, Ark.; Alyssa Miller, a freshman vocal performance major from Glenwood, Ark.; Houston Murray, a freshman choral music education major from Hot Springs, Ark.; Cody Myers, a freshman psychology major from Van Buren, Ark.; Spencer Neblett, a freshman vocal performance major from Little Rock, Ark.; Alyssa Reynolds, a sophomore vocal performance major from Sanger, Texas; Zach Smith, a freshman Christian studies/Biblical studies major from Batesville, Ark.; Jacob Sturgeon, a freshman choral music education major from Pine Bluff, Ark.; and Josiah Wheeler, a senior choral music education and mathematics major from Jacksonville, Ark.
Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased by visiting the Jones Performing Arts Center Box Office weekdays from 1-5 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.obu.edu/finearts. Students with an OBU ID may receive one free ticket for the show. For more information, call the box office at (870) 245-5563 during business hours.
By Breanne Goodrum