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Experience opera live: UTPA students present Mozart’s  “Cosí fan tutte” April 17-18

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UTPA students are pictured in rehearsal for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera "Cosi fan tutte," which will be performed April 17-18 at the UTPA Library Auditorium.
UTPA students are pictured in rehearsal for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera “Cosi fan tutte,” which will be performed April 17-18 at the UTPA Library Auditorium.

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Opera novices and fans are invited to enjoy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s popular opera, “Cosí fan tutte,” or “School for Lovers,” April 17-18 at The University of Texas-Pan American. It is the first full-length opera performed in recent history by UTPA students.

The opera is a hilarious story about the follies of love set to some of the most beautiful, raucous and effective operatic music ever composed, said David Sadlier, assistant professor of voice in the Department of Music and Dance.

“The show is one of Mozart’s comedic masterpieces and is an amazing highlight of the talent that we have at UTPA,” said Sadlier, who is the opera’s conductor, stage director and production manager. “Cosí” offers great opportunities for students to learn about performing opera from the Classical time period. It is a great teaching tool for our students and will help build a potential fan base for opera in the Valley. We want people to understand that opera is not so far outside their wheelhouse.  ‘Cosí’ is not different from any romantic comedy you might go see in the movie theater.”

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The two-act opera, originally set in Naples and here updated to 1950s Mexico, will be sung in English. UTPA students are cast in the six lead roles and comprise the accompanying orchestra and chorus. The UTPA Theatre Area is also collaborating in the production, providing costume design and stage management.

“Opera was the world’s first multimedia event. It combines visual arts, musical arts, literature, poetry and dance,” Sadlier said. “With the upcoming College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, opera represents something that can really be interdisciplinary within that college. It offers so much that will not only strengthen the future School of Music, but also the college in general.”

“Cosí fan tutte” is the humorous tale of two young soldiers who, at the direction of their older (wiser) friend, disguise their identities to test their lovers’ fidelity through deception and seduction. It is one of three collaborations Mozart had with librettist Lorenzo de Ponte, the others being “The Marriage of Figaro” andDon Giovanni.

The title, “Cosí fan tutte (le belle),” is often translated to “Women are like that” and suggests that women are fickle and easily seduced. However, the opera points out that men, too, have challenges in courtship, Sadlier said.

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Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m. at the UTPA Library Auditorium. Admission is free to UTPA students with valid UTPA ID, $3 for other students and $5 for faculty, staff and the general public. All seats are general admission, with no reserved seating. All money raised will go directly to fund future operatic productions.

A golf cart shuttle to the library will be available at the Visitors Center for those parking in Visitor Parking areas near UTPA’s main entrance on University Drive. The shuttle will also be available to return opera attendees to the Visitor’s Center following the performance.

For special accommodations, call (956) 665-2860.

For more information, email sadlierda@utpa.edu.

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