-- Setting Is Updated From 18th-Century Naples to Coney Island, Circa 1916 --
FLUSHING, N.Y., March 28, 2016 – The plot of Così fan tutte (“All women are the same”) is simple: responding to a cynic’s wager, two men test the faithfulness of their fiancées, two sisters, by disguising themselves as foreign suitors. The two-act opera buffa blends comedy, mistaken identities and high drama between the sexes, all set to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s lively, beloved music.
Next month Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music (ACSM) is collaborating with the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance to perform Così fan tutte with a twist: instead of the usual setting of 18th-century Naples, the opera will take place in Coney Island, Brooklyn, circa 1916.
“I felt that making the opera a bit more ‘modern’ from its original conception would enable us to balance Mozart with 21st-century sensibilities,” says stage director Rod Gomez, who is Co-Director of Queens College’s Opera Studio program. “At the same time, it will still feel grounded in time-honored tradition.
Gomez, who holds a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and has served on its faculty, has directed numerous operas in California and the tristate area. As Artistic Advisor and Resident State Director for New York’s One World Symphony, he has directed many of its productions, including Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.
Opera Studio Co-Director Elizabeth Hastings prepared the vocalists for this production. A highly regarded vocal coach and accompanist who maintains a busy studio in New York City, Hastings has conducted for the Toledo Opera, the Washington Opera, the Sarasota Opera and the New York City Opera national touring company. From 2005 to 2013 she also served as Music Director for the Liederkranz Foundation.
ACSM Professor of Conducting James John will prepare the orchestra and conduct the performances. In addition to serving as Director of Choral Activities at QC, John has guest-conducted in many other venues including Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, and abroad with the Tokyo Oratorio Society and Oratorio Sinfonica Japan. He has also led numerous past opera productions at ACSM, including Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites and Argento’s Postcard from Morocco.
Performances will take place from Thursday, April 7 through Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 pm and on Sunday, April 10 at 3 pm in the Goldstein Theatre. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 for seniors and QC faculty and staff, and $10 for students with QC ID.
Tickets for Così fan tutte can be purchased in advance through the Kupferberg Center Box Office at 718-793-8080, online at www.kupferbergcenter.org
, or at the door one hour prior to each performance.
About Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music (ACSM)
Established in 1981, ACSM has over 500 music students enrolled in seven undergraduate and graduate degree programs. It prepares its graduates for a variety of careers in music, including performance, teaching and composition. The school also maintains a vital presence in the cultural life of Queens and the greater NY metropolitan area by annually offering over 200 public concerts and recitals, as well as specialized programs and courses for senior citizens. In addition, its Lawrence Eisman Center for Preparatory Studies in Music, a pre-college program, serves up to 400 elementary and secondary students each year. For more information on the Aaron Copland School of Music, please visit http://qcpages.qc.cuny.edu/music/