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Opera Season Begins With Excerpts Inspired by Shakespeare

Mark Adamo’s “Little Women,” Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” complete 2013-14 season

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October 31, 2013 | by Judy Moore
Northwestern’s 2013-14 opera season begins Nov. 22-23 with “Sounds and Sweet Airs: Scenes from Shakespeare” at Cahn Auditorium.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Excerpts from operas and musicals inspired by Shakespeare, a production based on Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” and a Mozart work that “tests the ties of love” will be performed this season by Northwestern University Opera Theater.

Presented by the University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, the 2013-14 season’s fully-produced opera productions with orchestra will take place in Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson Street, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

“Sounds and Sweet Airs: Scenes from Shakespeare” in November, Mark Adamo’s “Little Women” in late February and early March and Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” in May will all be directed by the Bienen School’s Michael M. Ehrman, artist-in-residence and director of opera.

“Little Women” will be conducted Bienen School alumnus Hal France (“Grapes of Wrath” last year) and “Cosi” will be conducted by alumnus Emanuele Andrizzi.

Opera ticket prices are indicated in two ranges: the first for the general public and the second for full-time students with IDs. Northwestern faculty and staff with a valid WildCARD receive a 15 percent discount off the general public ticket price. 

FALL 2013

Northwestern’s Opera Theater will present “Sounds and Sweet Airs: Scenes from Shakespeare,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23. Ehrman will direct an evening of excerpts from Shakespeare-inspired operas and musicals, including Verdi’s  “Falstaff,” Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” Nicolai’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” Thomas’ “Hamlet,” Rossini’s “Otello,” Rodgers and Hart’s “The Boys from Syracuse” and Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me, Kate.” Tickets are $10 for the general public and $6 for full-time students with valid IDs. 

WINTER 2014

“Little Women,” featuring music and libretto by Mark Adamo, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1; and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2. Adamo’s adaptation of the classic Alcott novel premiered at the Houston Grand Opera in 1998. It tells the stories of the four March sisters -- Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy -- through the memories of tomboyish Jo, growing up in Civil War-era New England. As each sister finds her own path in life, Jo must reconcile her nostalgia for the past with the inevitability of change. More on Adamo is available online. All performances will be in English. Tickets are $16 for the general public and $7 for students.

SPRING 2014

Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22; 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 23; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 24; and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 25. With a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, the opera tells the story of two young officers in Naples, Ferrando and Guglielmo, who agree to a wager about the fidelity of their lovers with the old philosopher Don Alfonso. In disguise, the two solders test the women’s fidelity in this drama that borders on farce. All performances will be in Italian with English supertitles. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $8 for students.

MICHAEL M. EHRMAN

Bienen School faculty member Michael M. Ehrman has directed productions at the Houston Grand Opera, Greater Miami Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Minnesota Opera, Chautauqua Opera and Chicago Opera Theater as well as the 2012 performance of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” at Ravinia. A Northwestern alumnus, Ehrman was the director of opera at Northwestern University from 1996 to 2000 and returned to the position in 2011. Ehrman was recently appointed director and administrator of Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program at Central City Opera in Denver.

For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit Pick Staiger online. To order tickets call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000 or visit Pick Staiger online. For updates on campus construction, parking and directions, visit Pick Staiger.

Topics: Campus Life