Classical Music Development Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (CMDFTT) Young Artist Collective premieres Mozart's The Impresario, on July 28 at Theatre 1, the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), 10 Keate Street, Port-of-Spain. A comic opera in one act, The Impresario features Raguel Gabriel, Natalia Dopwell, Ayrice Wilson, Diahann White, Daniel De Craine-Pierre and Stephan Hernandez. The Impresario features show-stopping arias and hilarious ensembles as two sopranos do battle at a heated audition to win the coveted lead role in the Impresario's newly composed opera. This production is co-ordinated by the same team that led the very successful CMDFTT Young Artist Collective debut production of Ravel's L'enfant et les Sortileges, and includes director Dr Helmer Hilwig, with musical direction by June Nathaniel and piano accompaniment by Enrique Ali.
Speaking on Wednesday, Hilwig disclosed that the production has been in rehearsal for just two to three weeks. He explained, "It comes off after Natalia (Dopwell) asked me to direct Les Enfants de Sortileges, a children's opera by Maurice Ravel. The piece is seldom performed because it is almost impossible to stage it. However, it was quite a success. So much so that it was critically acclaimed as 'an exquisite treat for music lovers'. "Ravel's is not the easiest music to appreciate so I was amazed how the children who attended, how much they enjoyed it." Hilwig added, "Natalia wanted us to do something else for summer but my summer is so busy. This piece, however, is somewhat short, but it is very enjoyable." Ali, the opera's musician said, "The Impresario should be funny as it has been locally adapted. The music of Mozart has not been changed and comprises five musical numbers which are the same as the original, all connected by a script which has been localised. "We have been rehearsing the music not too long, just about two months. "The only thing I think might be odd for a local audience is that it slips from local vernacular directly into a Mozart aria."
The newly translated and adapted version of The Impresario, featuring five singers, was developed by American playwright Callie Kimball for the 'In Series' at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington DC in 2008. The role of Impresario will be played by tenor Gabriel, whose performance credits include Mr Arithmetic L'enfant et les Sortileges, Remendado Carmen, and Tony West Side Story. The rival divas will be played by 2012 Music Festival champion soprano Wilson (Best Spiritual, Best Operatic Aria and Best Soprano Solo), as Miss Honeywell, while Mrs Cantwell will be sung by soprano Dopwell, the Most Outstanding Performer 2004 Music Festival and a recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music. Rounding off the cast will be mezzo-soprano White (championship winner 2012 Music Festival for Best Oratorio Solo and Best Operatic Ensemble) as Mrs Bourghesa. The role of Buffo will be played on alternate evenings by Daniel DeCranie-Pierre (championship winner 2012 Music Festival for Best Boys Vocal Solo (16-19) and Best Religious Contemporary Solo (16-19), and Stephan Hernandez, a graduate of the UTT Music programme who will soon begin his undergraduate training at Eastman School of Music.
Tickets cost $150 and can be purchased at:
The Gallery, 2nd Floor Long Circular Mall
The Knowledge Zone, The Falls at West Mall
Key Academy of Music, Alexandra Street, St Clair (678-8293)
All CMDFTT Young Artist Collective Members
There will be no Box Office at the performance location. All tickets must be purchased in advance.
Call 472-3157 or 728-6696
Web site: www.cmdftt.org