Mozart’s “Impresario” gets a western twist

By Brittany Filippini |Staff Writer|

CSUSB’s music and theater department are working together to put on an 1880 western twist on Mozart’s 1786 Italian style opera Impresario. The event is scheduled for April 29 & 30. 

Dr. Stacey Fraser, one of the directors and actors of Impresario, is sure to stand out with her long list of experience with music and theater. When discussing the reasoning behind stage being set in the Old West Dr. Fraser exclaimed, “The idea of choosing a setting to which the audience can relate is so important; opera can be accessible, it does not have to be high brow.”

This production is sure to be an interesting one because the students are not the only ones who are showcasing their acting skills but the professors here on campus are showcasing their abilities also.

“The main goal is to show the San Bernardino Community that opera is accessible,” said Dr. Fraser.

According to CSUSB’s website Dr. Fraser has received recognition from international papers such as The New York Times, The San Diego Union Tribune, Oltner Tagblatt of Olten, Switzerland and the Press Enterprise of the Inland Empire.

Dr. Fraser has performed at prestigious places such as the La Jolla Playhouse, the San Diego Opera, and Vancouver Symphony are just a few. According to Dr. Fraser the reasoning behind setting the stage in the Old West in 1882 was to appeal to the community of San Bernardino because there was an opera house established here in 1882.

Mozart’s Impresario includes the theme of rivalry between two women who are very demanding and think very highly of themselves or what we refer to as a diva. Back in the day an Impresario was someone who finances a production such as a play, movie, concert, or opera.

The two divas in this play are fighting for the title of being the best opera singer in the Old West. One of the divas is the mistress of the local banker who offers his assistance as long as his mistress is given a part in the opera.

As the play unravels the banker has set his eyes on a new younger women. These two divas eventually come together and cooperate with one another to ensure that the opera will continue.

Impresario contains jealousy and competition, while still having a comedic twist to it.  While enjoying this play you will notice songs from other famous operas such as Bizet’s “Carmen” and “Magic Flute” which is another classic of Mozart’s.

The students here at CSUSB can relate to this production because “ the themes in Mozart’s opera are universal and very contemporary despite the fact that he lived over two hundred years ago,” said Dr. Fraser.

This production of Impresario will be CSUSB’s first time performing the famous song play. Impresario will debut April 29 & 30 at 7:30 pm.. For information contact Stacey Fraser at (909) 537-5835 or e-mail her at sfraser@csusb.edu

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