Liberty School of Music performs an adaptation of Mozart
The modern-Mozart adaptation of “The Marriage of Figaro” originally written and composed during May 1786, according to history.com, debuted for the third time on Liberty University’s campus.
The performance, held in the Tower Theatre, follows Tony Figaro and his troubles in attempting to marry his fiancé Susanna.
The adaptation, “Figaro’s Wedding,” by Liberty’s school of music staff John Hugo and Wayne Kompelien, was presented over a decade ago and then once again about eight years ago. The newest presentation of the opera occurred Thursday, Jan. 21 – Monday, Jan. 25 and included not only the opera cast but also an orchestra, which was a new component to the adaptation.
Because the adaptation was performed in the (now demolished) fine arts hall that used to be attached to DeMoss Hall, the space did not allow for an orchestra. The production used a piano on stage as an accompaniment, according to Kompelein.
Kompelein said he decided upon “Figaro’s Wedding” this year because the opera fit his group well vocally. Because of the amount of women and men, sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses, Kompelein knew “Figaro’s Wedding” fit well for this year.
The opera cast started practicing in August three times a week, then picked up with rehearsals after winter break and performed for three out of the five days originally scheduled. Friday and Saturday shows were cancelled due to snow.
Although the cast practiced nearly 80 hours, performing directly after winter break was a challenge, according to Kompelein.
“It’s hard to come back and do it in January,” Kompelien said. “There’s positives and negatives. … The students aren’t in the throws of school yet, so they don’t have a lot of academic stress … the negative is you come back after five weeks and things are a little rusty.”
Despite the challenges of returning in January, senior Jeffrey Batson, double-cast as Charlie, commented on the effort of the cast.
“It’s one thing to enjoy performing, but it’s another thing to be surrounded by those who enjoy it as well and who are also working toward a common goal — to make it the best show we possibly can,” Kompelien said.
Another senior noted the commaraderie of the cast.
“We’re all invested in the comedy and not afraid to make a fool of ourselves over certain things,” Kristin Christopherson, who dually played Susanna with another cast member, said. “Spilling water on customers (in the Italian restaurant), flirting with people, anonymous love letters, lots of fun stuff happens in this play.”
In the end though, the long hours and rehearsals were represented by the difficult musical arias — when four different characters would be singing four completely different lines of the same song at the same time.
“I think it’s the most fun musically as far as entertaining,” Madison Warren, who was double cast as Rose said. “I also think it’s one of the most challenging musically because there’s so many sporadic entrances from each character because you are trying to tie your own end of the story up because in the end, there’e three different couples that get back together, rather than just one couple.”