This month, the Binghamton University Opera Ensemble will be putting on a Mozart double bill.
The performance will feature both an abridged version of “Die Zauberflöte” (“The Magic Flute”) and the entire first act of “Così Fan Tutte” (“Women Are Like That).” The first selection, “The Magic Flute,” is a fairy tale about a prince that must rescue a princess, with themes of love and good versus evil. “Women Are Like That” is a comic opera about a bet between soldiers to prove the faithfulness of their fiancees.
The selections will be performed by students majoring in music who are part of the Binghamton University Opera Ensemble. In true opera fashion, the pieces will be performed as a combination of acting and singing in the original German.
David Toulson, ‘97, the stage manager for the show contracted by the University, shared that the pieces were chosen with the student performers in mind.
“Mozart is very appropriate for younger voices, and it’s a good teaching tool because it’s very demanding,” he said. “It challenges them, and they have really risen to the challenge.”
Dyanna Bohorques, who performs as the Third Lady in “The Magic Flute,” shared that characterization is important to the performance of an opera.
“Her and her other sisters, the First and Second Ladies, they work for the Queen of the Night, and I’m the youngest sister, and I like to fool around; I’m sort of the little troublemaker,” said Bohorques, a freshman majoring in music. “It’s been a lot of fun diving into the character and being the fun one.”
Carissa Arduini plays the Second Lady in “The Magic Flute.” Because this was her second time performing as the Second Lady, she shared that she found new ways to approach the role.
“I’m sort of revisiting it,” said Arduini, a second-year master’s student studying music in opera. “It’s fun coming back to it and bring new things to the table than what I did last year. The Second Lady is in the middle, and if you’re the middle child you’re fighting for the attention. I think all three of us make a good team, but we’re not afraid to battle it out.”
Arduini also shared that opera performances are often more challenging than a regular singing performance, particularly because of the language barrier.
“It takes a lot of energy,” she said. “You have to really sit down with your score, especially if it’s in a different language, and you have to translate everything word for word and know what you’re singing about. It really takes time to get it into yourself, something you’re not necessarily used to.”
The show will be on Friday and Thursday, April 6 at the Anderson Center Chamber Hall. Tickets are $10 for general admission; $7 for faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens; and $5 for students.