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UCF Opera presents ‘Mozart First and Last!’

UCF Opera presents ‘Mozart First and Last!’

UCF Opera presents an adaptation of two works from early and late in Mozart’s career.

Few stars have ever shone as brightly as Mozart’s, especially in opera. Journey with UCF Opera from the maestro’s early period written when he was just 18 – Love in the Garden State (a one-act adaptation of the comedy La Finta Giardiniera performed in English) – to a piece composed in his final year – La Clemenza di Tito (a one-act adaptation performed in Italian).

The following Character Animation Shorts will be shown before each performance:

  • Friday, April 8, 2022: Gaiaspora (2013), Farmer Glorp (2016), Night Light (2018)
  • Sunday, April 10, 2022: Dreamweaver (2017), Box Forts (2012), Enchanted Ink (2015)

Students can use code ILOVEUCF2022 for a $5 discount. Valid student ID required.


“Mozart First and Last!” is generously supported by LIFE at UCF.

Logo for LIFE at UCF

Performance Schedule

  • Friday, April 8, 2022, 8:00  p.m.
  • Sunday, April 10, 2022, 3:00  p.m.
Back to the full schedule

Playbill

UCF Opera Presents:

Mozart: First and Last! An adaptation of two works from early and late in Mozart’s career 

 

A Note from UCF Opera Director Thomas Potter:

UCF Opera is so very pleased to offer this glimpse into two very different operas written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The first was composed by Mozart when he was only 18 years old, and it is one of his first operatic successes. The second is from Mozart’s last, busy year – written as a hasty commission to help celebrate the coronation of Leopold II, as Holy Roman Emperor. The adaptations you will see and hear are the product of our special guest stage director Robert Swedberg, who produced a similar program at the University of Michigan a few years ago, as he taught at that prestigious music school for 10 years. Each opera is adapted to be just about an hour in length. There will be a brief intermission in-between the two operas.

 

Love in the Garden State
A one-act adaptation of Mozart’s “La Finta Giardiniera”
Adaptation realized by Robert Swedberg
English translation by Robert Swedberg and Tutti Gabbati

Violet was almost killed by her scum husband Billy. In fact, he thought he had killed her, and has become engaged to Magnolia, niece of the Mayor of Lagonero, NJ, who is planning to have their wedding in the garden of his home; but his garden needs work, so he hired Violet, (now disguised as Tina – of Tina’s Floral Creations and Landscaping) to get the place ready. (Tina has not seen Billy since he tried to kill her and does not know he is the groom at this wedding.) Tina has brought her friend Tony along to help, and he has become interested in the Mayor’s servant Carmela, but she is trying to get it together with her boss the Mayor, who has no time for her, but he is interested in Tina. Oh, there’s also this poetic character named Raymond, former boyfriend of Magnolia, and she may still have the hots for him too, but he has no money, and Billy is loaded. Got it? 

CAST

Violet Flowersin disguise as a landscaper, “Tina”: Isis Bermudez
Billy “The Count” Flowers – her estranged husband: Mitchell Klavins 
Magnolia – niece of the Mayor of Lagonero, NJ: Hannah White 
The Mayor of Lagonero, NJ: Evan Martinez 
Tony – a friend and assistant to Tina”: Nicolas Barth
Carmela – the Mayor’s servant: Kelsey Trent 
Raymond – a poetic character: Lauren Smedberg

 

La Clemenza di Tito
A one-act adaptation of Mozart’s “La Clemnza di Tito”
Adaptation realized by Robert Swedberg
Sung in Italian with English subtitles

Roman empire, in the year 79.

Vitellia, daughter of the late emperor Vitellio (who had been deposed by Tito’s father), wants revenge against Tito. She stirs up Tito’s friend Sesto, who is in love with her, to act against him, but hearing that he (Tito) seeks a suitor, Vitellia tells Sesto to delay carrying out her wishes, hoping Tito will choose to wed her. Tito, however, decides to choose Sesto’s sister Servilia to become his bride and Empress. Annio and Servilia, unbeknownst to Tito, are in love. Servilia decides to tell Tito the truth but also says that if Tito still insists on marrying her, she will obey. Tito thanks the gods for Servilia’s truthfulness, and immediately forswears the idea of coming between her and Annio. 

In the meantime, however, Vitellia has heard the news about Tito’s interest in Servilia and is again boiling with jealousy. She urges Sesto to assassinate Tito. He agrees, but almost as soon as he leaves, Annio and Publio (Commander of the Praetorian Guard) arrive to escort Vitellia to Tito, who has now chosen her as his empress. She is torn with feelings of guilt and worry over what she has sent Sesto to do. 

Sesto wrestles with his conscience as he and his accomplices burn down the Capitol. Sesto announces that he saw Tito slain, but Vitellia stops him from incriminating himself as the assassin. Annio tells Sesto that Emperor Tito is in fact alive and has just been seen; in the smoke and chaos, Sesto mistook another for Tito. Sesto wants to leave Rome, but Annio persuades him not to. Soon Publio arrives to arrest Sesto. 

Tito waits impatiently as Sesto is tried before the Senate, sure that his friend will be exonerated; Annio begs Tito to show clemency towards his friend, but Sesto has been found guilty and an anguished Tito must sign Sesto’s death sentence. He decides to send for Sesto first, attempting to obtain further details about the plot. Sesto takes all the guilt on himself and says he deserves death, so Tito tells him he shall have it and sends him away. But after an extended internal struggle, Tito tears up the execution warrant for Sesto. He determines that, if the world wishes to accuse him (Tito) of anything, it should charge him with showing too much mercy, rather than with having a vengeful heart. 

Vitellia is now torn by guilt, but Servilia warns her that tears alone will not save Sesto. Vitellia finally decides to confess all to Tito, giving up her hopes of empire. Sesto is about to be executed when Vitellia offers her confession as the instigator of Sesto’s plot. Although shocked, the emperor includes her in the general clemency he offers. The opera concludes with all the subjects praising the extreme generosity of Tito. 

CAST

Tito Vespasian, Roman Emperor: Mitchell Klavins 
Vitellia, daughter of the deposed Emperor Vitellio: Hayley Gutschmidt
Sesto, young soldier, friend of Tito: Zoemar Lebron 
Annio, young soldier, friend of Sesto: Alessandra Capasso 
Tony – a friend and assistant to Tina”: Nicolas Barth
Servilia, sister of Sesto: Melissa Pereyra (4/8) & Mary-Kelly Reimel (4/10) 
Publio, commander of the Praetorian Guard: Cullen Heuman 

Ensemble, Roman citizens: Nicolas Barth, Isis Bermudez, David Burrows, Joshua Conn, Evan Martinez, Melissa Pereyra, Mary-Kelly Reimel, Everett Sarich, Stephanie Slagle, Lauren Smedberg, Kelsey Trent, Hannah White 

 

ORCHESTRA

Conductor/Harpsichord: Robin Jensen
1st Violin: George Lawson 
2nd Violin: Shaun Cobb
Viola: Haley Fye
Cello: Dennis Fleitz 
Bass: Geordan Raisler
FluteDavid Ma
Oboe: Vincent Artusa
Clarinet & Basset HornSarah Abraham Breslin
Bassoon: Joshua Butenschoen 
Horn: Emma Schwarz 

 

CREATIVE TEAM

Producer: Thomas Potter
Music Director: Robin Jensen
Stage Director: Robert Swedberg
Rehearsal Pianist: Charlotte Yezhou Tan 
Assistant Stage Director: Everett Sarich 
Stage Manager: Taylor Bray 
Assistant Stage Manager: Naiya Barsallo 
Assistant Stage Manager: Jennifer Balestra
Scenic/Projections DesignerLisa Buck 
Technical Director/CarpenterWaylon Lemasters
Costume DesignerKat Henwood 
Lighting Designer: Jon Whiteley 
Videographer: Anthony Narciso 

 

SPECIAL THANKS

UCF School of Performing Arts Director: Michael Wainstein
UCF Opera Board MembersRobin Jensen, Mitch Klavins, Judy Lee, Treva Marshall, Chiara Mazzucchelli, Florin Mihai, Ginny Osborne, Mary Palmer, Thomas Potter, Sibille Pritchard, Deede Sharpe, Hannah White, and Rita Wilkes