Operas scheduled at ENMU

By Zuo Yang: PNT Staff Writer

A pair of popular operas are taking center stage at Eastern New Mexico University this week, according to a university news release.

The ENMU Department of Music is scheduled to perform portions of the operas “The Marriage of Figaro” and “The Barber of Seville.”

According to the release, “The Marriage of Figaro” and “The Barber of Seville” are entertaining comedies that address issues relevant to current society.

The release said the plays were first performed in 1784 as part of a trilogy. Jason Vest, assistant professor of music, wants to show the audience how a performance written in the 18th century still applies today.

“The operas from which we are drawing this program both began as plays by the French writer Beaumarchais,” Vest said. “The plays were comedies and were popular and controversial because of their less-than-flattering portrayal of the aristocracy.

“We have set them in the present day. Although we don’t have royalty in this country, we do have the rich and famous, and some of the same clashes between classes occur today as they did 250 years ago.”

This opera will be performed in Italian with English translation projected over the stage. Vest said speaking with Italian on the stage requires them a lot of preparation work and sometimes they practice three to four hours a day.

“I think the audience will really enjoy that this program is a comedy and should be very entertaining,” Vest said. “Our singers are also very talented and have worked hard to be ready to perform this beautiful music.”