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Northwestern University to Present 'The Bartered Bride' Feb. 22-25

February 6, 2007 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Northwestern University School of Music's opera program will present four performances of “The Bartered Bride,” Bedrich Smetana's charming fable of an arranged marriage gone awry.

Northwestern's winter opera will be performed in English at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., on the University's Evanston campus.

Smetana's second opera premiered in Vienna in 1892 to tremendous praise, later becoming the sole Smetana opera to secure a permanent place in opera houses outside his Czech homeland. This cheerful folk opera tells the tale of Jenik and Marie, whose love is threatened by their parents' arrangement for Marie's marriage to Jenik's stepbrother. This opera has it all, complete with an evil stepmother, a gypsy circus, mistaken identities, a clever hero and an innocent ingénue.

“The Bartered Bride” is a Czech national favorite that has become internationally popular. It invites audiences to root for the lovers, laugh with the hero's bumbling stepbrother and join in their village's festive celebration of springtime.

Noel Koran, Northwestern's director of opera, is a two-time first-prize winner for production, design and direction from the National Opera Association. He has directed programs across the United States, as well as abroad in Ireland, Germany and Austria.

“The Bartered Bride” will be conducted by Frederick Ockwell, the School of Music's associate professor of opera, conducting and ensembles. Ockwell is a Fulbright scholar in conducting from Cologne, Germany, and has worked with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Cologne Opera Studio and the Hamburg State Opera.

The School of Music's production of “The Bartered Bride” is the second of three operas during Northwestern's 2006-07 music season and will be followed this spring by Francis Poulenc's beautifully tragic “Dialogues of the Carmelites,” which will be performed May 18 and 19 at Cahn Auditorium.

Tickets for “The Bartered Bride” are $15 for the general public; $12 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5.50 for full-time students.

To purchase tickets or for more information regarding these events, call the Pick-Staiger box office at (847) 467-4000, or visit the Pick-Staiger Web site at <www.pickstaiger.com>.

Topics: Campus Life