Skylark Opera's Fifth Annual Summer Festival

From one perspective, winter is the ideal opera season, as the shows provide a much needed burst of passion to defrost our chilled sensibilities. But there's something to be said for opera in the summer, a time in which the revitalized desires of the audience are closer aligned with the emotional outpouring onstage. Take, for example, Skylark Opera's Fifth Annual Summer Opera Festival. For just over one week, Skylark Opera provides an opportunity to enjoy two sprightly works from the intimate environs of Concordia University's E.M. Pearson Auditorium. This year's fest will feature a clever pairing of Leonard Bernstein's musical Wonderful Town and Victor Herbert's operetta Mademoiselle Modiste, two works that are stylistically varied but thematically complementary. Though Mademoiselle Modiste premiered in 1905, nearly 50 years before Wonderful Town, both plays share an unrestrained buoyancy perfectly suited to the romantic sway of the season. Both works are also lighthearted tales of young women pursuing their dreams, but the real attraction is derived from the enduring vibrancy of the crowd-pleasing scores. With a cast and orchestra predominantly drawn from the Midwest, this festival promotes a regional appeal that nevertheless compares favorably with any nationally renowned company. Such lofty ability is a requirement considering that neither production uses any artificial amplification, relying solely upon the dexterity of the performers and musicians to capture the mesmerizing tranquility of a summer eve. Mademoiselle Modiste is set for June 8, 10, 14, and 16; Wonderful Town on June 9, 13, 15, and 17. (John Engstrom, Wonderful Town)
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: June 8. Continues through June 17, 2012

 
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